Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2022_NY_Cowen

Remote sensing measurements of water velocity and flux to integrate hydrology with biogeochemical models during restoration of the Herring River Estuary at Cape Cod National Seashore

Institute: New York
USGS Grant Number:
Year Established: 2022 Start Date: 2023-01-01 End Date: 2025-12-31
Total Federal Funds: $236,534 Total Non-Federal Funds: $236,534

Principal Investigators: Edwin A. Cowen

Abstract: The Herring River on Cape Cod has been affected by poor water quality and ecological decline for over 100 years. The Herring River Estuary (HRE) – where this river enters the ocean – currently flows through a small opening in Chequessett Neck Road dike, which dams most water moving back and forth on the tides. Later this year, the National Park Service and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) will start to replace this dike with an adjustable gated bridge to restore tidal flow to this ecosystem. These agencies need more accurate flow data through the dike to ensure that the computer models they are using to plan this restoration are sufficiently accurate. Our project will use an infrared camera to track subtle temperature patterns on the water surface, measuring the velocity, tidal flow rate, and nutrient amounts moving through the existing and rebuilt dikes, helping USGS plan the HRE restoration.