Continuing Intensive Monitoring of Nutrient and Material Load in Claridge Nursery Stream “The Canal”: Assessing the Water Quality Impacts & Benefits of a Stream Restoration in the Coastal Plain

There is a lack of research and understanding on the immediate, mid-, and long term effects of stream restoration projects on water quality. North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) partnered with North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS) and North Carolina State University (NCSU) to perform in-stream monitoring of water quality both pre- and during TIP and stream construction under RNS 4105. However, additional data collection and analysis is needed to get an overall, clear picture of the effects on water quality that occur throughout the various stages of a stream restoration project by continuing this effort through the post-construction and stream restoration monitoring phases. In this project, the research team will continue the acquisition of high frequency flow and water quality data at the existing up, middle and downstream stations. This will involve biweekly field servicing to retrieve data and water samples acquired automatically. Flow will be calculated after stage and velocity will be carefully corrected. Spectral absorbance data will correlated with concentration values obtained in the laboratory to create/validate water quality rating curves. Sediment properties (porosity, bulk density, diagenetic activity) will be quantified, as well as the ability of the stream substrate to retain nitrogen, using the method devised during project RNS 4105. The results of the project RNS 7101 (post-restoration) will be compared to those of RNS 4105 (pre- and during construction) to describe the overall effects of a stream restoration in the Coastal Plain on NC.