Projects >> U-028

U-028 - Big Spring Run Restoration Experiment and Monitoring

PI: Dr. Dorothy Merritts
Project Lead: Dorothy Merritts
Funding Source: NSF/EAR 1226972
Location: Big Spring Run, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Dates: 2013-06-17 to 2016-04-15

Project Summary

The goal of the Big Spring Run (BSR) restoration experiment in southeastern Pennsylvania is to better understand the geological, biological, and environmental mechanisms responsible for development and stability of landscape patterns in shallow vegetated flow systems, and to test a new paradigm of stream-wetland restoration. This new approach is based on the hypothesis that the removal of historic sediment that buried a pre-existing Holocene wet meadow, and its multiple branching channel system for approximately three centuries can effectively restore a number of ecosystem functions. We are working with resource managers at PA DEP, USGS, and EPA to evaluate the broader implications of a new floodplain-wetland restoration strategy for wet meadow anastomosing channel systems impacted by historic sedimentation. Big Spring Run is a tributary within the Susquehanna River basin, which drains into the Chesapeake Bay, a water body impaired by sediment and nutrients under the Clean Water Act. Results of this work have broad implications for restoring streams and improving water quality in the mid-Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay regions and could transform stream restoration practice in the region (from UNAVCO PSR).''

Project Sites

  1. PS01 Big Spring Run
  2. PS02 Great Marsh

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