USGS - science for a changing world

New Jersey Water Science Center

  home   water data   projects   publications   hazards   news   about us   contact   webcams
Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J

Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J.

           QUICK LINKS

WATER DATA

PUBLICATIONS

ABOUT US

USGS IN YOUR STATE

USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.

There is a USGS Water Science Center office in each State. Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Colorado Arizona New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Mississippi Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Pennsylvania West Virginia Georgia Florida Caribbean Alaska Hawaii New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts South Carolina North Carolina Rhode Island Virginia Connecticut New Jersey Maryland-Delaware-D.C.

Watershed Indicators

Project Title: NJ18400 Watershed Indicators
Project Number: 2454ACT
Project Chief:
Project Start Date: 01-APR-2001
Project End Date:30-SEP-2005

Project Objectives

AMNET provides a taxonomically rich and spatially comprehensive invertebrate data set for assessment of community impairment, however, to properly meet future NJDEP management goals for watersheds throughout the state, it has been suggested that the assessment methodology needs some fine-tuning. Project objectives are to

  1. evaluate AMNET assessment methodology for possible insensitivities in specific scoring criteria that is currently based on family-level (RBP II) invertebrate taxonomy,
  2. evaluate impairment relative to existing surface-water quality standards and stream classifications,
  3. evaluate relations between AMNET scores and major controlling environmental factors, including a rigorous analysis of flow and GIS derived basin characteristics,
  4. evaluate those sites where New Jersey impairment scores (NJIS) have changed since the first round of AMNET for underlying factors that may account for that change, and
  5. based on information developed in a-d, assist the NJDEP in defining stream restoration goals that translate into viable management recommendations for 1-2 pilot areas in NJ.

Statement of Problem

Various questions arise on whether or not realistic stream restoration goals can be established with our current understanding of watershed indicators and major controlling factors of aquatic ecosystem health. New Jersey is fortunate to have one of the nation's better spatial networks for assessing stream biological impairment --the Ambient Biomonitoring Network (AMNET); however, over 500 of the 800 sites sampled have indicated impairment. Multiple factors such as water quality, habitat quality, and flow characteristics are likely significant contributors. Some impairment might simply be due to methodological limitations, such as variation in the level of taxonomic scoring, insensitivity of the method to controlling factors, the large range of moderately impaired scores, and the inability to account for natural environmental variability. An in-depth evaluation of scoring method criteria and the factors leading to real impairment is now possible and warranted. Evaluation of data at several levels of stratification within the statewide network is needed to better link watershed nonpoint sources with observed biological impacts. A rigorous assessment of the dominant environmental factors contributing to confirmed impairment needs to be addressed before development of realistic stream restoration goals statewide and at specific sites can be accomplished. Finally, an approach to translate findings into viable management options needs to be developed and piloted.

Strategy and Approach

State-of-the-art statistical, GIS, and hydrologic modeling approaches at multiple levels of data stratification will be extensively used to evaluate the AMNET assessment methodology (regression and multivariate statistics), major controlling factors (regression and multivariate statistics) including a rigorous analysis of flow characteristics (TOPMODEL and impervious area analyses), underlying factors for change and existing standards/classifications (regression and multivariate statistics). Develop this information to assist NJDEP in defining restoration goals that translate into viable management recommendations for 1-2 pilot areas.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://nj.usgs.gov/projects/2454ACT/index.html
Page Contact Information: New Jersey WSC Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Monday, 14-Jan-2013 11:01:52 EST