The United States has more than 3.5 million miles of rivers and streams that, along with closely associated floodplain and upland areas, comprise corridors of great economic, social, cultural, and environmental value. These corridors are complex ecosystems that include the land, plants, animals, and network of streams within them. They perform a number of ecological functions such as modulating streamflow, storing water, removing harmful materials from water, and providing habitat for aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. Stream corridors also have vegetation and soil characteristics distinctly different from surrounding uplands and support higher levels of species diversity, species densities, and rates of biological productivity than most other landscape elements.
Many miles of rivers and streams have been seriously impacted by human activity. Restoring these steams to a more natural condition is a rapidly expanding field involving a multi-disciplinary approach. This 6-hour online course is the third in a series of courses that defines the issues and provides technical guidance in a wide variety of principles involved in steam restoration. This course covers the various disturbances that affect stream corridors. It is not necessary to complete all of these courses or complete them in order, but the order of the courses provides a logical progression through the subject matter.
Water / Stormwater Management
Health, Safety and Welfare
By the completion of this course, attendees will understand:
•How natural disturbances contribute to shaping a local ecology
•Whether or not natural disturbances are bad
•How to describe the frequency and magnitude of natural disturbances
•How an ecosystem responds to a natural disturbance
•Some types of natural disturbances that should be anticipated in stream corridor restoration
•Some examples of human-induced disturbances at different landscape scales
•The effects of some common human-induced disturbances such as dams, channelization and the introduction of exotic species
•Some of the effects of land use activities such as agriculture, forestry, mining, recreation and urbanization
Mark Peterson, P.E., M.ASCE