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Partner Projects

Alarka Headwaters habitat connectivity and sediment reduction project

This project is Phase I of a three-phased connectivity and sediment reduction project, with Phases II and III in years two – four involving replacement of two fords with AOP structures, graveled road improvements that reduce sedimentation, and a spruce bog restoration.

Sustaining Pennsylvania’s Oak Ecosystems Through Partnership in Forest Management

More than 2,000 acres were prepared for the next generation of oaks by creating suitable conditions for acorn establishment.

The Literature Gateway Project

Forest management affects wildlife habitat by altering the structure and composition of vegetation communities. Every wildlife species uses a specific set of resources associated with different species and ages of forest trees (e.g., nesting cavities, den sites, acorn crops, fruit resources) to survive and reproduce. Forest managers, wildlife conservation groups, policy makers, and other stakeholders often need to review the literature on forest bird-vegetation relationships to inform decisions on natural resource management or ecosystem restoration. The literature gateway facilitates the exploration of this literature, helping users find references on a diverse range of management-relevant topics that have been compiled by subject experts based on searches of >60 different sources spanning the past 50+ years.

Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges

Prescribed fire training exchanges are designed to address the unique landscape needs while keeping community values in mind.

Impediments to Prescribed Burning: NRCS Interviews

NRCS contracted with NC State to conduct a series of interviews with NRCS state office and field staff, along with some key partners, to collect observations on major impediments to implementing prescribed burning on-the-ground. The Executive Summary is posted here; for a copy of the full report contact

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NOAA Firebird Project

The NOAA Firebird Project is focused on understanding how prescribed fire practices affect populations of black and yellow rails and mottled ducks in high marsh across the U.S. Gulf States, during the breeding and non-breeding seasons.
Completion Date

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Gopher Tortoise

The gopher tortoise is a large burrowing tortoise that occurs in upland pine forests of the southeastern United States. The gopher tortoise is one of five tortoise species native to North America and the only tortoise species east of the Mississippi River. The sex of individual tortoises can usually be determined by shell dimensions. A male tortoise has a greater degree of lower shell concavity, and a longer gular projection. However, the sex of tortoises at maturity size is difficult to determine (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1990).


The Firebird Project brings together a variety of stakeholders to address waterbird conservation along the Gulf Coast. Here you can find out about the many on-going projects under the Firebird umbrella.

The GigaFire Project

The GigaFire Project is a set of interconnected research projects focused on quantifying the state and dynamics of wildland fuels as well as the impacts of varying fuel managements on fire severity, long-term carbon sequestration, and water quality.

Alarka Headwaters habitat connectivity and sediment reduction project

This project is Phase I of a three-phased connectivity and sediment reduction project, with Phases II and III in years two – four involving replacement of two fords with AOP structures, graveled road improvements that reduce sedimentation, and a spruce bog restoration.

Appalachian Ecosystem Restoration Initiative

More than 1,200 acres of red spruce have been planted across its historic range on mine spoils; excluded livestock from 1,500 acres and protected 6,900 feet of streambank; prescribed burns were used to restore a healthy balance of native plants and young forest habitat for wildlife.

Lower Cowpasture Restoration Projects

Prescribed fire was used to reduce fire risk and forest stand improvement was used to restore early succession habitat on 6,169 acres; restoration of James Spiny mussel populations in the Cowpasture River on national forest lands; five new vernal pools were created for native amphibians and stream-crossings improved for cold water fishes.

Monroe Mountain Aspen Ecosystem Restoration Project

Project implementation created 39 jobs, such as equipment operators, surveyors, and foresters, plus supporting jobs in the local communities.

Sustaining Pennsylvania’s Oak Ecosystems Through Partnership in Forest Management

More than 2,000 acres were prepared for the next generation of oaks by creating suitable conditions for acorn establishment.

North Warner Multi-Ownership Forest Health

More than 15,000 acres were treated for hazardous fuels and to improve wildlife habitat using JCLRP funding.

Nebraska Northwest Landscape Restoration

USFS, NRCS, and partners have conducted prescribed burns or mechanically removed cedar on approximately 40,000 acres in the Sandhills grasslands.

Central Sierra Recovery and Restoration

Treatments to more than 3,100 acres helped create a defensible space for fire fighters to protect four communities during the 2018 Ferguson Fire. This Joint Chiefs’ project helped in reducing fuel loads and removing hazard trees in the wildland urban interface. These practices are critical in reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfire to local communities and sensitive habitats.
Completion Date

Northern Arizona Habitat Restoration and Wildfire Risk Reduction

The Northern Arizona Habitat Restoration and Wildfire Risk Reduction Partnership Project would mechanically treat woody species, implement prescribed burning, develop new wildlife watering facilities, and develop education and outreach to improve habitat for large game and grassland obligate species, reduce fire risk to rural communities and Grand Canyon National Park, promote groundwater recharge, and build community understanding of and support for grassland restoration activities.

Santa Rosa-Paradise Restoration

The Santa Rosa-Paradise landscape is a priority landscape under Nevada Division of Forestry's (NDF) Forest, Range and Watershed Action Plan.

Eastern Divide Restoration

The Eastern Divide Restoration Project Area covers 2,260,480 acres (3,532 square miles) of public and private lands in Botetourt, Craig, Roanoke, Giles, Bland, Pulaski, Wythe, Tazwell, and Montgomery counties in Virginia.

Uwharries to Sandhills Landscape Collaborative

The Uwharries to Sandhills Landscape Collaborative (USLC) will improve forest health by restoring privately and publicly owned pine forests to an open-canopy condition in and around Uwharrie National Forest (UNF), and in a habitat corridor between the Uwharries and the NC Sandhills ecoregion.

Connecting Fuels Treatments in the Salish Mountains and Whitefish Range

This landscape-scale fuels reduction project targets connecting 25 miles of cross boundary fuel reduction treatments within the rapidly expanding wildland urban interface (WUI) and communities at risk of catastrophic wildfire near the Salish Mountains west of Kalispell and north to the Whitefish Range.

Camp Wiahkowi Dam Removal

The Friends of the Winooski River completed the removal of Camp Wihakowi Dam (Vermont) in 2020.

The Literature Gateway Project

Forest management affects wildlife habitat by altering the structure and composition of vegetation communities. Every wildlife species uses a specific set of resources associated with different species and ages of forest trees (e.g., nesting cavities, den sites, acorn crops, fruit resources) to survive and reproduce. Forest managers, wildlife conservation groups, policy makers, and other stakeholders often need to review the literature on forest bird-vegetation relationships to inform decisions on natural resource management or ecosystem restoration. The literature gateway facilitates the exploration of this literature, helping users find references on a diverse range of management-relevant topics that have been compiled by subject experts based on searches of >60 different sources spanning the past 50+ years.

Fire Adapted Bitterroot (FAB)

Fire Adapted Bitterroot (FAB) seeks to address forest health and wildfire risk in three main areas of Ravalli County in Western Montana. This proposal will actively treat fuels on 1,350 acres on the east side of the valley in year 1 (2022), 3,250 acres in the southern valley in year 2 (2023), and 4,000 acres on the west side of the main valley in year 3 (2024).

Butte Valley South Landscape Restoration

Since 2010, wildfires have burned nearly 770,000 acres in Siskiyou County, California. Prescribed burns are a useful management tool for resilient and healthy landscapes, forests and watersheds, while larger fuel loads and less resilient landscapes threaten local communities, human health and safety, habitat, wildlife, and natural resources.

Southern Front Range Watershed

The Southern Front Range (SFR-JCLRP) project will treat vegetation in the project area within Pueblo, Custer, Huerfano, and Las Animas counties. Treatments would be adjacent to or near the towns of Cuchara, Aguilar, Stonewall, Wetmore, Westcliffe, Beulah, and Rye, Colorado.

Bear Creek to Signal Peak

The Bear Creek to Signal Peak Collaborative Restoration Project area is located north and west of Silver City in southwestern New Mexico.

Wood River Valley Forest Health & Wildfire Resilience

The Wood River Valley Forest Health and Wildfire Resilience Project will reduce the significant wildfire threat to the main populous corridor in Blaine County, Idaho.

Catalina-Rincon Restoration and Fuels Mitigation

The Catalina-Rincon Restoration project area consists of 925,450 acres, encompassing the Santa Catalina Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest (CNF). The project area wraps around the northern and eastern sides of the Tucson basin with a population of nearly 1 million.

Libby Surround Stewardship

The Libby Surround Stewardship Project will treat hazardous fuels on 4,605 acres of land surrounding Libby, Montana.

Gallatin Valley Resiliency and Watershed Health

Prescribed fire, timber harvest, shaded fuel breaks, small diameter understory thinning, and weed treatments have been prioritized to meet the goals and objectives of the project.

Valleys and Headwaters Restoration

The project area has been heavily impacted by insects and disease over the last two decades, and more recently by large high-intensity wildfires, including the unprecedented 2020 fire season.

Hawaii Island Wildfire Mitigation and Support

This project makes long-lasting investments to prevent the loss of Hawaii's most intact native forests from fire.

Scattered Lands Hazardous Fuels

The Scattered Lands Hazardous Fuels project focuses on 173,942 acres of high-risk forestlands in North Idaho.

Big Flat Community Protection

The Big Flat Community Protection Project boundary landscape covers approximately 11,388 acres dominated by dense stands of even-aged Douglas-fir and tanoak that present a high hazardous fuels risk for the remote wildland urban interface (WUI) community of Big Flat.

Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges

Prescribed fire training exchanges are designed to address the unique landscape needs while keeping community values in mind.

WildfireSAFE: Real-Time Data to Improve Wildfire Management

WildfireSAFE provides an intuitive platform to access fire weather, hazard and behavior information from the Wildland Fire Assessment System (WFAS) for specific incidents. It supports the greater interagency fire community in the planning, response, and recovery phases of wildfire management.
Completion Date

Impediments to Prescribed Burning: NRCS Interviews

NRCS contracted with NC State to conduct a series of interviews with NRCS state office and field staff, along with some key partners, to collect observations on major impediments to implementing prescribed burning on-the-ground. The Executive Summary is posted here; for a copy of the full report contact
Completion Date
March 1, 2019

Salt marsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP)

A collaborative effort to assess risks and set response priorities for tidal-marsh dependent bird species from Virginia to maritime Canada.

Salt marsh modeling coupled with hydrodynamic modeling

Combining marsh equilibrium modeling approach with a hydrodynamic modeling approach, this coupled model forecasts the evolution of marsh landscapes under different sea-level rise scenarios, with or without marsh restoration and storm surge factored in, to inform future management decisions with regard to system dynamics.
Completion Date
November 2016

Atlantic and Gulf Coast Resiliency Project

Coastal change is a shared challenge along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States, yet there are vast differences in the tools and information available in these regions. This project coordinated, synthesized, and delivered coastal resilience information, activities and lessons learned across the coastal portion of the Atlantic, Gulf and Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) network.
Completion Date
September 2016

Increasing Resiliency of Tidal Marsh Habitats and Species

This project is designed to guide decisions about where to conduct tidal marsh restoration, conservation, and management to sustain coastal ecosystems and services, including the fish and wildlife that depend upon tidal marshes, taking into account rising sea levels and other stressors.

Identifying Resilient Sites for Coastal Conservation

Sea levels are expected to rise by one to six feet over the next century, and coastal sites vary markedly in their ability to accommodate such inundation. In response to this threat, scientists from The Nature Conservancy evaluated 10,736 sites in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic for the size, configuration and adequacy of their migration space, and for the natural processes necessary to support the migration of coastal habitats in response to sea-level rise.
Completion Date
June 2017

Protection of Critical Beach-nesting Bird Habitats in the Wake of Severe Coastal Storms

Scientists developed models to examine the influence of landscape-scale variables like sea-level rise and beach-management strategies on bird nesting suitability.

iPlover: Piping plover habitat suitability in a changing climate

Designed by scientists to simplify consistent data collection and management, the iPlover smartphone application gives trained resource managers an easy-to-use platform where they can collect and share data about coastal habitat utilization across a diverse community of field technicians, scientists, and managers. With the click of a button, users can contribute biological and geomorphological data to regional models designed to forecast the habitat outlook for piping plover, and other species that depend upon sandy beach habitat.

Increasing Resiliency of Beach Habitats and Species

This project is a coordinated effort by Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) partners to integrate existing data, models and tools with foundational data and assessments of both the impacts of Hurricane Sandy and the immediate response. The project will integrate new and existing data and build decision support tools to guide beach restoration, management and conservation actions. Project objectives are to sustain ecological function, habitat suitability for wildlife, and ecosystem services including flood abatement in the face of storm impacts and sea level rise.
Completion Date
November 2016

Impacts of Climate Change on Stream Temperature

This study gathered existing stream temperature data, identified data gaps, deployed temperature monitoring to locations lacking data, and compared state-of-the-art stream temperature models across the Northeast domain.

Decision Support Framework for Sea-level Rise Impacts

One of the principal impacts of sea-level rise will be the loss of land in coastal areas through erosion and submergence of the coastal landscape. However, changes vary across space and time and are difficult to predict because landforms such as beaches, barriers, and marshes can respond to sea level rise in complicated, dynamic ways. This project developed decision support models to address critical management decisions at regional and local scales, considering both dynamic and simple inundation responses to sea-level rise.
Completion Date
April 2014

Stream Temperature Inventory and Mapper

This project developed a coordinated, multi-agency regional stream temperature framework and database for New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Great Lakes states. The project compiled metadata about existing stream temperature monitoring locations and networks; developed a web-based decision support mapper to display, integrate, and share that information; built a community of contacts with interest in this effort; and developed data portal capabilities that integrate stream temperature data from several sources.
Completion Date
April 2015

Beach and Tidal Habitat Inventories

This series of reports, databases, and data layers generated using Google Earth imagery provides an inventory of sandy beach and tidal inlet habitats from Maine to North Carolina, as well as modifications to sandy beaches and tidal inlets prior to, immediately after, and three years after Hurricane Sandy.
Completion Date
January 2017

Terrestrial Wildlife Habitat Models

The project developed habitat capability models for representative wildlife species. It was part of a project led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst to enhance the capacity of partners to assess and design sustainable landscape conservation in the Northeast. These models (as subsequently expanded and enhanced by UMass) have been incorporated into two North Atlantic LCC-sponsored projects, "Connect the Connecticut" and "Nature's Network."
Completion Date
September 2011

Vernal Pool Mapping and Conservation

Vernal pools are small, temporary bodies of water that can serve as critical habitat for frogs, salamanders, reptiles, invertebrates, and other species. This project compiled a comprehensive GIS dataset of known and potential vernal pool locations in the North Atlantic region, reviewing vernal pool mapping approaches, and demonstrating a remote sensing method to identify potential vernal pool sites.
Completion Date
June 2016

Development of a Rapid Assessment Protocol for Aquatic Passability of Tidally Influenced Road-Stream Crossings

There is growing interest among conservation practitioners to have a method to assess tidally influenced crossings for their potential as barriers to aquatic organism passage. Protocols designed for freshwater streams will not adequately address the passage challenges of bi-directional flow and widely variable depth and velocity of tidally influenced systems. Diadromous and coastal fish must be able to overcome the enhanced water velocities associated with tidal restrictions to reach upstream spawning habitat. This project will build on the existing North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative's protocol, database and scoring procedures to extend the applicability of this region-wide program to road-stream crossings in tidally influenced settings.

River Corridor Assessment for the North Atlantic Region

An urgent need exists to uniformly assess river corridors, including floodplains, and to prioritize areas for protection across the North Atlantic landscape. This project will develop a river corridor assessment method and conservation prioritization toolkit. The tools will be tested through three pilot projects across different topographies before being expanded to additional river corridors across the region.
Completion Date
January 31st, 2018

Prioritization and Conservation Status of Rare Plants in the North Atlantic

This project created a prioritized list of rare plant species for conservation actions, with a comprehensive analysis of rarity, threats, trends, legal protection, inclusion in State Wildlife Action Plan revisions, conservation status, habitat, and climate change.
Completion Date
March 31, 2017

Coastal Update to the National Wetlands Inventory

This project completed a rapid update for wetland mapping in 162 coastal areas (1:24,000 topographic quadrangles in ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, PA, and VA) that were last updated prior to 2000. The updates, which were incorporated into the National Wetland Inventory, have many applications in conservation analysis and coastal planning, including the Designing Sustainable Landscapes project (also funded by the North Atlantic LCC).
Completion Date
September 2013

Priority Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Areas (PARCAs)

Amphibians and reptiles are experiencing threats throughout North America due to habitat loss and other factors. To help conserve these species, this project will identify Priority Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Areas (PARCAs) that are most vital in sustaining amphibian and reptile populations, taking into account potential future climatic conditions.
Completion Date
June 2016

Piping Plovers and Sea-level Rise

This collaborative project provided biologists and managers along the Atlantic coast with tools to predict effects of accelerating sea-level rise on the distribution of piping plover breeding habitat, test those predictions, and feed results back into the modeling framework to improve predictive capabilities. Immediate model results will be used to inform a coast-wide assessment of threats from sea-level rise and related habitat conservation recommendations that can be implemented by land managers and inform recommendations to regulators. Case studies incorporating resilience of piping plover habitat into management plans for specific locations demonstrate potential applications.
Completion Date
August 2014

Permeable Landscapes for Wildlife in the Northeast

Landscape permeability, also referred to as "habitat connectivity," is the ability of a land area to allow animals to move and disperse. This project evaluated and mapped landscape permeability across the eastern United States and southeastern Canada.
Completion Date
January 2015

Identifying Important Migratory Landbird Stopover Sites in the Northeast

Dozens of species of landbirds, such as warblers, hummingbirds, and orioles, migrate through the Northeastern United States from their summer breeding grounds in the U.S. and Canada to their nonbreeding grounds as far south as South America. During the migration period, birds must find habitat where they can stop, rest and replenish their energy reserves. Conservation efforts are increasingly focused on identifying stopover sites that are important for sustaining migratory landbird populations. This project built upon prior work by the University of Delaware and USGS to use weather surveillance data and field surveys to map and predict important migratory bird stopover sites.
Completion Date
September 2016

Marine Bird Mapping and Assessment

This project developed a series of maps depicting the distribution and probability of occurrence of marine birds in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. The maps are intended to be used for informing decisions about siting offshore facilities; marine spatial planning; and other uses requiring maps of seabird distributions.
Completion Date
September 2015

Standardization of Terrestrial and Wetland Habitat Classification and Mapping

This project, sponsored by the Northeast Climate Science Center, facilitated coordination among the scientific community to assess existing habitat classification and mapping products within the Northeastern and Midwest United States.
Completion Date
December 2014

Extending the Northeast Terrestrial Habitat Map to Atlantic Canada

This project developed a comprehensive terrestrial habitat map for the entire extent of the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NALCC) region by extending the Northeast Terrestrial Habitat Map to Atlantic Canada and southern Quebec. The completed version was released on September 10, 2015.
Completion Date
September 2015

Virginia Piedmont and Coastal Plain Updates to Northeast Habitat Map

This project updated the Northeast Terrestrial Habitat Map by remapping the Virginia coastal plain and piedmont. (The previous version adopted the Southeast GAP map for these regions.) This resulted in a map that is fully consistent across the 13 state Northeast region (Maine to Virginia and West Virginia).
Completion Date
June 2012

Decision Support Tool to Assess Aquatic Habitats and Threats in North Atlantic Watersheds and Estuaries

Through a stakeholder-driven process, the project team developed a multi-criteria decision support tool to allow resource managers to visualize and manipulate information on aquatic habitats and threats to prioritize areas for conservation action.
Completion Date
September 2015

Designing Sustainable Landscapes, Phase 2

This project is assessing the capability of habitats to sustain populations of wildlife in the Northeastern U.S. in the face of urban growth, changing climate, and other disturbances. Building on Phase 1, this project expands the geographic scope from three pilot watersheds to the 13 state Northeast region and considers additional wildlife species.
Completion Date
June 2015

North Atlantic LCC Demonstration Project: White Mountains to Moosehead Lake Initiative

The purpose of this demonstration project was to show how North Atlantic LCC science products can be used to inform conservation for a Northeast habitat and resilience "hotspot." The Trust for Public Land will integrate LCC and other science products into a clearinghouse and analysis tool for parcel-level conservation planning in the 2.7 million acre White Mountains to Moosehead Lake region of Maine and New Hampshire.
Completion Date
December 2013

North Atlantic LCC Demonstration Project: Marsh Migration

Coastal marshes serve a variety of important functions including flood control, spawning/rearing areas for marine life, and critical habitat for many bird species of conservation concern. The focus of this project was to facilitate local actions in Maine to accommodate the needs of coastal marshes to migrate landward in response to rising sea levels.
Completion Date
December 2013

North Atlantic LCC Demonstration Project: Climate Adaptation in Appalachian Forests

The goal of the project was to help more efficiently achieve a resilient Appalachian forest landscape within the NALCC geography that would be built upon a broadly shared vision for a sustainable, connected mosaic of forest habitats and waters that are home to thriving intact ecosystems and human communities. This project was intended to identify and showcase efforts that, in the light of advances in climate adaptation, best contribute to effective landscape conservation actions in the region.
Completion Date
March 2014

Application of the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standards (CMECS) to the Northeast

This project integrated NOAA and NatureServe's Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) and the Nature Conservancy and NatureServe's Northeast Regional Habitat Classification System (NRHCS) in order to extend the latter system to estuarine and marine environments from Maine to Virginia. State, academic, and non-profit partners collaborated to identify and cross-walk existing state marine classification systems. The project examined the scalability of this classification by conducting pilot mapping projects at three different scales relevant to planning and conservation efforts.
Completion Date
December 2013

Forecasting Changes in Aquatic Systems and Resilience of Brook Trout

The objective of this project was to develop tools to assist managers in protecting and restoring streams for brook trout and other aquatic resources in the face of threats such as climate change and development. Deliverables from this project included models of stream temperature, stream flow, and brook trout occurrence for headwaters of the Northeast, including projections of the potential effects of climate change. The investigators worked closely with decision-makers such as state water resource agencies to ensure the tools are useful.
Completion Date
October 2016

Designing Sustainable Landscapes, Phase 1

The purpose of this project was to assess the capability of current and potential future landscapes to provide integral ecosystems and suitable habitat for a suite of representative species, and provide guidance for strategic habitat conservation. Part of the project included a comparison and evaluation of a representative (focal) species approach against a coarse filter (ecosystem-based) approach to biodiversity conservation to assess what set of complementary approaches are most effective. This was an 18-month first phase that focused on three pilot watersheds and initial model development.
Completion Date
June 2012

Designing Sustainable Landscapes

This project highlights the potential for collaboration and coordination among conservation practitioners and research scientists to plan for the future. A team of UMass scientists has developed a landscape change, assessment and design model to assess ecosystems and their capacity to sustain populations of wildlife in the northeastern U.S. in the face of urban growth, climate change, and other stressors. The project plays a major role in developing the science and data for two collaborative landscape planning and design efforts: 1) Connect the Connecticut, the pilot Landscape Conservation Design for the Connecticut River Watershed, and 2) Nature's Network, which expands and elaborates on the data to extend to throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic. Using the best available science and information, participating partners are developing tools and strategies for conserving a connected network of lands and waters to sustain natural resources and communities within the watershed.
Completion Date
August 2017

Extending the Northeast Aquatic Habitat Map to Canada

This project contributed to the development of a comprehensive aquatic habitat map for the entire extent of the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NALCC) region by extending the Northeast Aquatic Habitat Map to Canada and southern Quebec.
Completion Date
May 2017

North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative

This project is developing a partner-driven, science-based approach for identifying and prioritizing culvert road stream crossings in the area impacted by Hurricane Sandy for increasing resilience to future floods while improving aquatic connectivity for fish passage. The resulting information and tools will be used to inform and improve decision making by towns, states and other key decision makers.

Restoring Aquatic Connectivity and Increasing Flood Resilience

This project brings together the major partners involved in road-stream crossings to assess river and stream continuity and set priorities for restoring connectivity, and reducing flood damage to road crossings, within the North Atlantic region.
Completion Date
September 2015

Revisions to the Northeastern Aquatic Habitat Classification

This project updated the 2008 Northeastern Aquatic Habitat Classification (NAHCS) prepared by The Nature Conservancy and the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (NEAFWA). The updates added a tidal component to the classification of streams and rivers and a mapped classification of lakes; the lake classification was revised in 2015.
Completion Date
December 2015

Vulnerabilities to Climate Change of Northeast Fish and Wildlife Habitats, Phase II

This project completed three assessments of the vulnerability of terrestrial, aquatic, and coastal habitats (ecosystems) to climate change, including sea level rise. One assessment evaluated 13 terrestrial and wetland habitat types, the second evaluated cold water stream habitats, and the third evaluated coastal habitats. A database of coastal climate change projects and tools was also developed.
Completion Date
August 2014

Climate Change Vulnerability Index for Northeast species

NatureServe and Heritage Program collaborators have developed a Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to provide a rapid, scientifically defensible assessment of species' vulnerability to climate change. The CCVI integrates information about exposure to altered climates and species-specific sensitivity factors known to be associated with vulnerability to climate change. This project applied the CCVI to 64 species selected in collaboration with state wildlife staff and other experts.
Completion Date
June 2013

Designing Sustainable Coastal Landscapes in the Face of Sea-level Rise and Storms

Under a cooperative agreement funded by the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Mitigation Fund, Designing Sustainable Coastal Landscapes in the Face of Sea-level Rise and Storms, will add needed coastally relevant information to the Designing Sustainable Landscapes project for the North Atlantic region.

Range-wide assessment of grazing and hydrology in bog turtle wetlands

In December 2018, a meeting of bog turtle experts was hosted in Richmond, VA and experts across the Eastern range of the species identified as a high priority the need to better understand the benefits and potential negative impacts of livestock grazing in bog turtle inhabited wetlands. Hydrologic conditions in bog turtle wetlands emerged as a secondary concern needing more research. Recently, NRCS’ Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) awarded funds to Dr. Carola Haas leading a team of researchers at Virginia Tech University to conduct an assessment on these two topics (grazing and hydrology).
Completion Date

Economic and Production Performance of Native Grasses as Forage in the Fescue Belt

The primary purpose of developing this literature review and summary was to inform producers about the potential benefits from utilizing warm-season grasses in the Fescue Belt. Effectively, managing forages is not always straightforward for livestock producers. Summarizing the economic and production benefits from using warm-season grasses could help producers make more informed forage management decision and might encourage producers to consider adopting warm-season grasses. Furthermore, this literature review also gathered information about the potential benefits of using native grasslands as forage to the quail population in this region, which could likely result in an economic benefit to the producer from leasing farmland to hunters.

Assessment of Native Grasses for Forage & Bobwhite Habitat

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, through its Center for Native Grasslands Management will conduct a study to evaluate the effectiveness of a working lands conservation model for enhancing northern bobwhite and other grasslands wildlife populations. Specifically, we will evaluate native grass forage production within fescue-belt landscapes to determine how effective this strategy is for improved survival and productivity of northern bobwhite and abundance of associated grassland bird species. The study will be conducted in cooperation with partner agencies within the fescue belt.
Completion Date

Outcomes from Delivery of NRCS's WLFW-Bobwhite in Managed Pine Savannahs

In 2016, the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Working Lands for Wildlife partnership began funding management activities designed to enhance, restore, and protect bobwhites habitat on private lands. Through the WLFW program, NRCS is able to assist landowners to voluntarily create and maintain bobwhite habitat in order to support the range-wide recovery of the species. In 2018, NRCS entered into an agreement with the University of Georgia to assess habitat outcomes and bobwhite population response to our conservation actions. n collaboration with the University of Georgia, NRCS is now looking to monitor some of these managed lands to help tease out habitat features that promote excellent bobwhite habitat. If possible, additional information (e.g., other forestry management actions employed) may also be collected through interviews with landowners and/or conservation partners.
Completion Date

Report Card to Assess Current Conditions, Ecological Health of Natural Resources in Tennessee River Basin

The Appalachian LCC is supporting researchers from the University of Maryland in developing an assessment of ecological health, or a “Report Card”, for the Tennessee River Basin.

Freshwaters Illustrated Video Series

Section 6 project with TWRA

Sequatchie Caddisfly & Royal Snail Popln Monitoring & Management Plan for Sesuatchie Natural Area - Marion CO TN

Quantitative caddisfly monitoring, and qualitative royal snail monitoring

Spring Pygmy Sunfish Monitoring

Presence/absence surveys in all known locations and in similar habitats in adjacent watersheds

Youth Environmental Eduation

Kids in the Creek, Migration Celebration, Macon Co. Youth Conservation Field Day, Earth Day Celebration, and others

Lake Sturgeon Restoration in Upper French Broad River

This is an extension of the effort to reintroduce Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) to the Tennessee River system. Lake sturgeon are reared in hatcheries in Georgia and North Carolina from eggs and milt collected from Wisconsin. Those fish are stocked in the French Broad River north of Asheville, NC. The objective is to establish a self-sustaining population in the French Broad river upstream from Douglas Dam.

Guided Snorkel Tours in the Cherokee National Forest

Guided snorkeling programs demonstrate your commitment to managing the land and water in your care while highlighting a fun, safe activity in a clear, cool stream. You can help get people outside, unplugged, and immersed, teaching people of all ages about the wonderful wildlife that lives just beneath the surface of their local waterways.

Alligator Snapping Turtle Surveys and Genetics - Lower TN and MS River

Dr. Josh Ennen, Aquatic Conservation Biologist, TN Aquarium Conservation Institute

Salamanders of the Cumberland Plateau

Understanding the impacts of climate change on salamander interactions with other salamander species and fishes

Golden Riffleshell Propagation in Clinch River

Larvae were obtained from female golden riffleshells and transformed using the invitro process at the Center for Mollusk Conservation facility in Frankfort, Kentucky under the guidance of Dr. Monte McGregor of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Clinch River State Park and Water Trail

Creation of a State Park and Water Trail along the Clinch River from Tazewell County, VA downstream to Scott County, VA

Clinch Powell Clean Rivers Initiative

Clinch Powell Clean Rivers Initiative is a two-state watershed collaborative aimed at improving the condition of the globally significant Upper Clinch and Powell Rivers.

Southeastern Aquatic Biodiversity Conservation Strategy

A data-driven prioritization of 290 huc-8 watersheds on the basis of fish, crayfish, and mussel biodiversity, endemism, and imperilment.

Alabama Statewide Fish IBI

Developing IBI's for strategic watersheds statewide. Derived resources will include data sets, imagery, maps, videos, and general and technical reports.

Alabama Statewide Crayfish Survey

Stuart McGergor - Geologial Survey of Alabama

Alabama Watershed Assessment

Assessing quality/quantity of state waters

Monitor AL Cave Shrimp and Tuscumbia Darters

Monitoring a listed and a candidate species' population on a federal facility

Bear Creek Mussel Recovery

Restoring mussel fauna

Cambarus Cracens Threats Assessment

Survey distribution and assess threats to candidate species

Upper Clinch Streambank Sedimentation Project

The project focuses on reducing sedimentation in the upper Clinch River watershed through streambank stabilization projects. Methods will include bioengineering techniques, grading, and installation of toe protection. Projects will be concentrated in developed areas of the watershed, as well as collaboration with the local soil and water conservation district.

Spivey Mill Dam Modification, Copper Creek

Spivey Mill Dam is a significant fish passage barrier in Copper Creek, one of the most biologically significant tributaries in the Clinch River basin. This project will involve modification to the dam structure to minimize the impoundment and improve water quality, and river restoration to facilitate fish passage, provide in-stream habitat, and stabilize the channel. The project includes a year of pre-monitoring data, including assessment of water quality, biological communities, and sediment transport.

Martin Creek Stream Restoration/Powell River Priority Conservation Area

This project will implement stream habitat restoration in Martin Creek, a priority conservation area in the Powell River watershed. The project will also involve agriculture best management practices and biological monitoring.

Mountain Creek Watershed Project - Education into Action

To increase the quality of the water within the Mountain Creek watershed, by forming alliances through education and outreach, in order to implement projects that restore water quality.

Signal Mountain Streams - Protection & Education

Water quality data collection, analysis and reporting for selected impaired streams on Signal Mountain. Hands-on, outdoor, water-quality education provided to local school.

Kids 4 Clean Water Camps & Education

To provide outdoor, environmental and water quality focused hands-on education for kids in school. Education is provided through camps that are held multiple times per year in different watershed areas within and surrounding Chattanooga, TN.

Cheoah River Restoration

In 2005, an improved flow regime was established in the Cheoah River and other habitat improvements are currently underway as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Relicense Agreement. Restoration of multiple species, including Appalachian elktoe, Alasmidonta raveneliana (Fed. & NC Endangered); Spotfin chub, Erimonax monachus (Fed. & NC Threatened); Wavy-rayed lampmussel, Lampsilis fasciola (NC Species of Concern); and Rainbow mussel, Villosa iris (NC Species of Concern), are part of the cooperative restoration plan for the Cheoah River.

Sicklefin Redhorse Candidate Conservation Cooperative

A working group of partners has been actively engaged in actions to study and conserve the narrowly endemic Sicklefin redhorse since the early 2000's. In 2015, that was formalized into a Candidate Conservation Agreement. This Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA) for the Sicklefin Redhorse (Moxostoma sp.) has been developed as a cooperative effort among tribal, state, federal, nongovernmental, and private organizations to establish a formal agreement to cooperate on actions that conserve, manage, and improve Sicklefin Redhorse populations range-wide with the goal of working to preclude the need to list the species under the Endangered Species Act. Activities include research to better understand the life history, ecology, habitat requirements, etc; population monitoring; captive propagation; and reintroduction and augmentation to expand the occupied range.

Pigeon River Aquatic Community Restoration

Since 2004, the NCWRC has extended the interstate project to restore aquatic fauna to the Pigeon River into the NC portion of the impacted reach. From the early 1900's thru the early 1990's, the Pigeon River was severely polluted by effluent from a paper mill at Canton, NC. Changes in the paper bleaching process and improved waste water treatment resulted in improved water quality in the reach between Canton, NC and Newport, TN. While habitat conditions improved, many species of fishes and mussels did not begin to recolonize the river due to dams and reservoirs that isolated the reach from source populations that might naturally recolonize. Cooperators in TN began to reintroduce several species of snails, mussels, and fishes beginning in the mid-1990's. Since 2004, six fish species (Gilt darter, Banded darter, Silver shiner, Tennessee shiner, Telescope shiner, and Bigeye chub) have been successfully reintroduced and maintain self-perpetuating populations.

Reintroduction of Lake Sturgeon into TN River Drainage

Restoration of a locally extirpated fish species to the TN river basin

Barrens Topminnow , Barrier Construction for Invasive Gambusia

Reintroduction and management of a highly endemic and endangered species to the TN Barrens. Derived resources from this project include/will include data sets, general report, and news announcement.

Integrating Cultural Resource Preservation at a Landscape Scale

A collaborative research project sponsored by the National Park Service and the Appalachian LCC seeks to integrate cultural resources, such as historic bridges and Civil War Battlefields, into landscape conservation planning and design to emphasize both natural and cultural resources in defining conservation priorities.

Integrating Cultural Resource Preservation at a Landscape Scale

A collaborative research project sponsored by the National Park Service and the Appalachian LCC seeks to integrate cultural resources, such as historic bridges and Civil War Battlefields, into landscape conservation planning and design to emphasize both natural and cultural resources in defining conservation priorities.

Closing Remarks from the Spotlight on National Park Resources in the National Capital Region

Perry Wheelock- Associate Regional Director, Resource Stewardship and Science, NPS, National Capital Region

Proximity to Power: How the Preservation of Lafayette Square Paved the Way for the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966

Kathryn Smith- National Historic Landmarks & National Register Coordinator, NPS National Capital Region

Inventory of Rare Groundwater Invertebrates and Their Habitats in National Capital Parks East Parks

David Culver, Emeritus Professor, American University Department of Biology presented for Jenna Keany, Graduate Student American University Department of Environmental Science

Subsistence Fishing, Ethnographic Resource Study

Shirley Fiske- Research Professor, University of Maryland Department of Anthropology

Sediment and Vegetation trends at Dyke Marsh Preserve and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Cindy Palinkas- Associate Professor, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory

Predictions of Coastal Vegetation Change Associated with Sea Level Rise

Andrew Elmore- Associate Professor University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science- Appalachian Laboratory

Movement and Gathering Across Time: A Preliminary Report on the Potomac River Gorge Environmental History and Historic Resource Study Project

Kirsten Crase- Research Associate & Project Director, University of Maryland School of Architecture Planning and Preservation

Joint Influence of Deer Management and an Invasive Grass on Tree Seedling Establishment at Catoctin Mountain Park

John Paul Schmit- Quantitative Ecologist, NPS, National Capital Region Inventory and Monitoring Program

Gone but not Forgotten: Storer College

Elaine Eff- Former Director, Cultural Conservation Program, Maryland Historical Trust

Our Collections at Risk: Climate Change Threats to NCR Museum Property

Over the past 15 years NPS Collections from Texas to Maine have faced devastating impacts from hurricanes and other climate related events. During this time, Hurricanes such as Isabel, Ivan, Katrina and Sandy have wrought havoc on NPS museum collections. Although not subjected to direct impacts from these recent hurricanes, NCR parks have been heavily damaged by their collateral impacts, typically in the form of flooding along the Potomac Valley. It is simply a matter of time before a major hurricane strikes right at the heart of the Nation’s Capital. Our recent brush with Hurricane Joaquin highlighted the risks we face in NCR from a devastating Hurricane event and its related impacts. Beginning in 2014 the NCR Museum Program has been developing an assessment of park collection vulnerabilities to climate change in NCR. This brief presentation will discuss those threats and highlight how some NCR parks are addressing those threats.

New Sampling Design Reveals Hotspots for Brook Trout Recruitment in Catoctin Mountain Park

Nathaniel Hitt- Aquatic Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center

Surveys of Native and Introduced Bees of the Woodlands of the Mid-Atlantic

Sam Droege- Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Patuzent Wildlife Research Center and Grace Savoy-Burke- Graduate Student, University of Delaware, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology

Bullets, Shrapnel, Case, and Canister: Archeology and GIS at the Piper Farm (Recording Unavailable)

Union and Confederate forces fought at Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American military history with nearly 23,000 dead, wounded, and missing. Some of the fiercest fighting occurred around the Sunken Road -- the northern boundary of the Henry Piper farm. Over four field seasons, archaeologists conducted systematic metal-detector surveys of the Piper Orchard, site of the Confederates’ retreat from the Sunken Road and their stand to hold the center, Caldwell’s Union advance, and the senseless charge of the 7th Maine Infantry Regiment. A combination of GIS analysis, 3-D terrain modeling, viewshed analysis, and a review of the historical record, resulted in the identification of unit positions and movements derived from an examination of 2,033 military artifacts. This study provides a more detailed understanding of the events at Piper Farm and demonstrates potential applications to other battlefield landscapes.

Presence of Ranavirus and Chytrid Pathogens among Amphibians

Christine Densmore- Veterinary Medical Officer, U.S. Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center

Creating a Mobile Experience for the Explore Natural Communities Website

Judy Teague - Senior Ecologist, Allen Ansellmo - Software Engineer, Erin Jones - Vegetation Ecologist, Dave Hauver - Software Engineer Natureserve, Diane Pavek - Research Coordinator, Ann Gallagher - Science Education Coordinator, Urban Ecology Research Learning Alliance, NPS National Capital Region

Accuracy Assessment Results for NCR vegetation maps

Judy Teague, Senior Ecologist, Natureserve; Diane Pavek, Research Coordinator, Botanist NPS, National Capital Region

A Golden Anniversary in a Diamond Year

Kimberly Robinson, Museum Curator, National Park Service, George Washington Memorial Parkway

Upcoming Centennial BioBlitz 2016 events in the National Capital Region

James Pieper- Regional Natural Resource Specialist, NPS, Office of Natural Resources and Science

Interactions Between Climbing Vines and Forest Edges Influence Tree Mortality in Mid-Atlantic Forests

Elizabeth Matthews - Botanist, Megan Nortrup - Science Communicator, John Paul Schmit - Quantitative Ecologist, J Patrick Campbell - Network Coordinator, NPS, National Capital Region Inventory and Monitoring Program

Ahoy Ye Landlubber! Submerged Cultural Resources along the GWMP

Bradley Krueger, Cultural Resource Specialist, National Park Service, George Washington Memorial Parkway

A Floral Survey of Cliff Habitats Along Bull Run at Manassas National Battlefield Park

Courtney James, Biological Science Technician, National Park Service, Manassas National Battlefield Park; Esther D. Stroh, Matthew A. Struckhoff, and Keith W. Grabner, U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center

Building an Invasive Plant Watch List for the NCR

Mark Frey- Team Liaison, NPS, Exotic Plant Management Team (EPMT)

Camera Trap Survey to Assess White-tailed Deer Population at Catoctin Mountain Park, 2015

Lindsey Donaldson - Biologist, Laurel Downs - Student Conservation Assosication NPS, Catoctin Mountain Park

Japanese American Veterans Association Oral History Topic

Amber Cohen - Graduate Student, University of Maryland

Maximizing the use of Volunteers for the Removal of Arborized Invasive English Ivy Vine at Rock Creek Park

Nick Bartolomeo - Chief of Resource Management, Ana Chuquin - Biological Science Technician NPS, Rock Creek Park, John Maleri - Program Coordinator, Karen Zeiter - Program Manager Rock Creek Conservancy

Paleo-Protectors: the First Volunteer Monitoring of Paleontological Resources within the National Park Service

Michelle Carter - Natural Resource Program Manager NPS, C&O Canal National Historical Park

Bats, White-nose Syndrome, and the Western Maryland Railroad Tunnels

Michelle Carter - Natural Resource Program Manager NPS, C&O Canal National Historical Park

Next-Generation DNA Sequencing of Prey Species in Coyote Scat from Prince William Forest Park and Manassas National Battlefield Park

Tyler Biles - Graduate Student, Clair Fremuth, Chelsea Miller - Undergraduate Students, Brian Masters, Harald Beck - Professors Towson University, Department of Biological Sciences

Partnering for Climate Change Communication in the National Capital Region

Jenell M. Walsh -Thomas, Melissa A. Clark, and Lindsey Beall, Graduate Students, George Mason University, Center for Climate Change Communication

Natural Resource Education and Outreach in a Cultural Resource Park: Expanding the Audience

Giessell Aguilar, Alison Sloop - Biological Science Technician(s) NPS, Manassas National Battlefield Park

Interactive Conservation Planning for the Appalachian LCC

The Appalachian LCC is currently engaged in an effort to develop a draft regional conservation plan for the Cooperative using an interactive and iterative spatial prioritization framework. Using available data and modeling approaches that are well supported in the literature, researchers from Clemson University are developing conservation planning models that include site selection, ecological threat assessments, and broad ranging habitat and ecological connectivity analyses.
Completion Date

Brook Trout Catchment Scale and Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

JMU in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the Service have initiated efforts to determine resiliency rankings for brook trout populations in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. This project will allow the partnerhsip to expand this analysis to cover all brook trout habitat from Georgia to Maine.

Restoring Browns Run Fish Passage, Barr Township, Pennsylvania

This project will open the headwaters of Browns Run, a tributary to the West Branch of the Susquehana River, to native brook trout passage and improve Browns Run brook trout habitat. (Photo: Pool Behind Browns Run Dam, Pennsylvania.)

Restoring Aquatic Organism Passage within Tipton Creek, North Carolina

This project will be the first of several designed to reconnect and restore brook trout habitat and populations within the Tellico River watershed. It will remove one barrier on Tipton Creek in the Upper Tellico River Watershed to reconnect approximately 4 miles of stream. (Photo: The crossing to be replaced on Tipton Creek in North Carolina.)

Thorn Creek Aquatic Passage Project, Pendelton County, West Virginia

This project will remove the 9 identified fish passage barriers in a 50 square mile wild brook trout watershed in Thorn Creek of the South Branch of the Potomac. (Photo: Typical low water bridge crossing to be removed on Thorn Creek in West Virginia.)

Brook Trout Restoration and Expansion in Garth Run, Virginia

This project will restore and improve stream and riparian habitat within a 2,357 foot project area located in the headwaters of Garth Run which was severely impacted by catastrophic flooding that occurred in 1995. (Photo: Photo 1 of Garth Run, Virginia)

Upper Shavers Fork Aquatic Passage Project, West Virginia

This project seeks to restore habitat linkages between two spawning tributaries and the mainstem of Upper Shaver's Fork between Cheat Bridge and Spruce, West Virginia. (Photo: The Beaver Creek Culverts to be replaced.)

Brook Trout Restoration in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia

This project will restore fragmented poor quality habitat and brook trout populations on the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia by removing and replacing a culvert on Bryant Creek that is perched and acts as a barrier to fish movement. (Photo: The culvert to be replaced on Bryant Creek in the Chattachoochee National Forest.)

Removal of Illegally Introduced and Missed Rainbow Trout from Lynn Camp Prong, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee

This project will remove the illegally introduced and missed rainbow trout from the Lynn Camp Prong Watershed in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Once complete, the project will reconnect brook trout populations in three tributary streams thus eliminating fragmentation in this watershed. (Photo: Lynn Camp Prong in Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee.)

Oats Run, Upper Shavers Fork, Aquatic Passage Project in Pocahontas County, WV

This project will restore habitat linkages between a brook trout spawning tributary in Oats Run and the mainstem of the Upper Shaver's Fork at Spruce West Virginia. (Photo: The fish passage barrier to be replaced on Oats Run in the Upper Shavers Fork in West Virginia.)

Dirt & Gravel Road, Streambank Stabilization Project on Cross Fork, Pennsylvania

This project will select and implement high priority projects that focus on dirt and gravel road improvements, streambank stabilization, riparian buffer restoration, and brook trout habitat expansion. (Photo: Improper drainage from dirt and gravel roads on Cross Fork, PA.)

Dam Removals to Reconnect Brook Trout Habitat on an Unnamed Tributary to Frankstown Branch, PA

This project will remove two fish passage barriers to provide 1.33 miles of unrestricted fish passage to high-quality coldwater spawning and rearing habitat. (Photo: Lower Dam, Frankstown Branch, PA)

St. Mary's Liming, St. Mary's River, Virginia

The streams of the Saint Mary's Wilderness, located on the slopes of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, have been severely compromised by anthropogenic atmospheric acid deposition. This project will add limestone sand using to the headwater streams of St. Mary's River to enhance over 12 miles of stream for brook trout. (Photo: St. Mary's River, Virginia.)

Removal of Two Dams in the Wetmore Run Watershed, Potter County, PA

This project will remove the only two dams in the Wetmore Run Watershed in Potter County, Pennsylvania opening 8.5 miles of habitat for brook trout. Removal of the dams will also eliminate thermal pollution and restore lotic ecosystem function. (Photo: Looking upstream at the dam on Wetmore Run. No water is going over the spillway.)

Harpeth River Restoration

As part of a jointly funded project via the National Fish Passage Program, the totality of this project is removing a lowhead dam and restoring the immediate area to riffle/run habitat for the benefit of improved water quality and native fish habitat in the Harpeth River, TN. (Photo: Harpeth River Restoration)

Nashville crayfish Habitat Restoration on the Nashville Zoo Property

This project will restore an unnamed tributary of Mill Creek by removing a barrier and restoring connectivity of the tributary.

Valley River Watershed Habitat Restoration Project

Valley River is an outstanding aquatic resource in the mountain region of North Carolina; however,303(d) listing and habitat degradation haw become more consistently the norm across the watershed. To address these problems, HRWC established,enhanced and estored adequate riparian buffers along the banks of the stream, restored aquatic habitat by reducing sedimentation and adding large woody debris in appropriate areas, and educated watershed residents about the river and these needs. (Photo: Murphy Track Site During)

Raccoon Creek Stream Restoration for Imperiled Aquatic Species in lower Etowah River Drainage

This project restored stream areas of Raccoon Creek for imperiled aquatic species in lower Etowah River drainage, Georgia. This project has resulted in several new partnerships, including a collaborative planning workshop for Paulding County held by SARP and the Southeast Watershed Forum. (Photo: Map of Raccoon Creek Watershed)

Copper Creek In-Stream Habitat Restoration Project

This project improved riparian zones, water quality, appropriate sediment flows and restoring physical habitat for multiple listed aquatic species in the Copper Creek watershed, within the Upper Tennessee River Basin. (Photo: The low water bridge that was removed and replaced with a new bridge that spans the river. )

Green River Enhancement within the Green River WMA, KY

The Green River and Green River Lake and provide aquatic habitat in the Green River Wildlife Management Area. The river is in declining condition due to severe erosion over almost four decades. Its restoration can allow it to support thriving populations of white bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, flathead catfish, walleye, and muskellunge, and provide sport challenges to anglers. (Photo: Green River Pre Restoration)

Large Woody Debris Habitat Improvement in tribs to North Sylamore Creek (AR)

This project will improve the habitat in tributaries leading to North Sylamore Creek (Arkansas) through the addition of large woody debris.

Stream Bank & Riparian Restoration along the Wild and Scenic Cossatot River on the Ouachita NF

Six riparian sites have severe erosion from loss of riparian vegetation and heavy recreational use. Riparian habitat function will be restored by stabilizing stream banks and planting vegetation. Stream habitat cover will increase with addition of materials to repair stream banks. Campsites will be designated and hardened. To measure effectiveness, water samples taken every 3 months over the past 4 years will continue for at least the next 4 years by the Cossatot River Watch Stream Team to compare pre- and post-restoration.

Restoration of a backwater of the Arkansas River, Rector Chute

The Rector Chute backwater will be restored to prevent conversion of aquatic habitat to terrestrial habitat through sedimentation. Select areas will be dredged with a Mudcat hydraulic dredge.

Chipola River Watershed Restoration Listed Mussels and Black Bass Initiative

A Chipola River watershed partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have been initiated since 2006. The purpose was to develop and lead a research-based platform for environmental restoration and conservation. The Service, along with FWC, West Florida RC&D; Council and others developed a Chipola River Watershed Management Plan (CRWMP) to achieve management and conservation of fish and wildlife resources. This proposal is for the next steps toward management activities under the CRWMP.

North Peninsula State Park Saltmarsh Restoration

This project will create a healthy, productive saltmarsh habitat (9 acres, including complete restoration of 2 acres of historical marsh habitat filled with spoil as a result of dredge activities and enhancement of 7 acres of saltmarsh) in North Peninsula State Park, Volusia County, Florida.

Ulele Springs Restoration Project

This project, run by the Ecosphere Restoration Institute, Inc, will create a natural spring and restore native wetland vegetation within the state of Florida.

Improving Management of Seagrass Resources through Restoration and Assessment

Lead by the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough City, this project will manage seagrass beds through creating a poll n troll zone to reduce seabed scaring, as well as testing different grass restore methods.

Restoration of Essential Habitats for Juvenile Tarpoon and Snook

Habitat loss and degradation are major threats to coastal fisheries, especially alterations of freshwater flow into estuarine habitats. This project will restore natural topography and hydrology to 229 acres of coastal land that includes juvenile habitat for economically and recreationally important tarpon and snook. Monitoring of water quality and fishes within mangrove creeks will quantify the changes resulting from restoration. An established education program will be used to disseminate project results to the public, and the project site will be protected and managed as a public park and nature preserve in perpetuity. This project is currently on-going.

Island Restoration and Habitat Enhancement in Lake Oconee

This project consists of Island restoration and habitat enhancement in Lake Oconee, Georgia.

Habitat Restoration to Benefit Rare Species and Natural Communities in the Altamaha River Watershed

Cool water springs feeding major coastal rivers in Georgia provide critical thermal refuges during summer for diadromous fishes such as striped bass. However, the connectivity of many of these springs to the main rivers has been diminished by drought, sedimentation, accumulation of debris, and beaver dams. The goal of this project was to improve the connectivity of Troup Springs to the Oconee River and enhance spring flows.

St. Catherine Creek Aquatic Habitat Assessment in support of GCPO LCC

This project will assess habitat in St. Catherine Creek, Mississippi, in support of GCPO LCC.

St. Catherine Creek Biological Monitoring in support of Landscape Model Development

The Pvt. John Allen National Fish Hatchery, the Baton Rouge Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office and the Gulf Coast Plains/Ozark Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCPO LCC) are partnering to develop a proactive approach in identifying problem areas and delivering aquatic habitat restoration actions, on the ground, before the problems reach an irresolvable level. This joint effort is already in the full process of data collection and evaluation to develop a spatially explicit model of aquatic habitats found on the St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge in MS. The full spectrum of biological needs for both of the alligator gar, paddlefish, and other floodplain dependent species are found in this floodplain. The existing project is already developing remote sensing capacity to characterize all aquatic habitats found in this interior floodplain in terms of the biological needs of aquatic species. In addition, data on bathymetry, water quality parameters, flood frequency and duration periods and vegetative types are being collected in order to accurately portray and verify habitat characteristics in the spatial model. Hydro acoustic and side scan imaging will be utilized in order to deliver the highest quality data available to resource managers at the present. Quantitative biological information is necessary to complete the suite of data for the model. Abundance and distribution of selected fish needs to be collected in conjunction with environmental data in order to adequately characterize the importance of various physicochemical conditions to aquatic life. This project will collect those data on St Catherine Creek NMR. This project is currently on-going.

NFHAP SARP Lower Bourbeuse Aquatic Conservation Area (LBACA) Landowner Partnership

This project consists of a landowner partnership within the Lower Bourbeuse Aquatic Conservation Area (LBACA), Missouri.

Hydrologic restoration of coastal wetlands on North Carolina’s Albemarle- Pamlico Peninsula

This project, lead by the Nature Conservancy's North Carolina Chapter, will restore hydrology and reverse saltwater intrusion into wetlands by replacing an inadequate water control structure and plug canals in the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula.

Using positive interactions between bivalves and seagrass to reduce habitat fragmentation and restore essential fish habitat

Lead by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this project will restore eelgrass cover that had declined by propeller scaring through introducing mussels. A natural fertilization and predator protection interaction study will also take place.

Oyster and Shoreline Habitat Restoration on Beacon Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina

This project will stabilize and rebuild fringing salt marsh habitat to protect Brown Pelican nesting areas and to create approximately two patch oyster reefs for fish habitat on Beacon Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Community-based and larger-scale oyster restoration in ACE Basin NERR Phase II

This project will create and protect intertidal oyster reefs and saltmarsh, essential fish habitat, within the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto (ACE) Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve in South Carolina. Organization: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Creating Oyster Niche Structures through Restoration Using Crab Traps

Abandoned crab traps are a prevalent form of marine debris on South Carolina and other states’ scenic coastal shorelines, detracting from their natural beauty and posing an ecological threat. This project, lead by a team of researchers with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), led by Associate Marine Scientist, Dr. Peter Kingsley-Smith, is a progressive way to use abandoned and unwanted crab traps to create new and thriving oyster reef habitat with funding from the SARP/NOAA Community-based Restoration Program (CRP), SCDNR.

Develop Artificial Estuarine Habitats in SC to Increase Abundance of Recreationally-Important Fish

This project will develop artificial estuarine habitats to increase abundance of recreationally important fish within South Carolina.

Oyster Habitat Restoration and Capacity Building for Future Oyster Restoration in SC

This project consists of oyster habitat restoration and capacity building for future oyster restoration in South Carolina.

Community-based Oyster Reef and Saltmarsh Restoration in the Charleston Harbor Watershed and Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge

This project will create intertidal oyster reefs and Spartina saltmarsh (.78 acres of intertidal oyster reef and 0.1 acre of adjacent saltmarsh) in the Charleston Harbor Watershed and Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge. Organization: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Stream Restoration & Protection on Agricultural Lands in the Upper Duck River Watershed

The Allen family’s dairy, Dairy Made Farm in western Marshall County, is a top priority site for conservation work on the upper Duck River. The farm has been an Allen family operation for generations and is now operated by Cannon and John Daniel Allen. It is up-stream and adjacent to a reach of the Duck from Lillards Mill to Venable Spring, one of the most biologically diverse reaches of the entire river system. The opportunity to work with the landowners on this important site arose late in 2007 and it promises to be an exciting and beneficial project for all involved.

Restoration of Critical Habitat for LIsted Mussels and Fish, Big South Fork NRRA, TN/KY

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is a focus for major conservation efforts due to the outstanding aquatic features found in the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. The park is also a favorite location for equestrian riders, cyclists, and hikers. Managing a park for such multiple uses, while conserving biodiversity, is wrought with challenges.

Restoration of aquatic/riparian habitats of the Edwards Plateau at the South Llano River State Park

This project will restore aquatic/riparian habitats of the Edwards Plateau at the South Llano River State Park in Texas.

Watershed-Based Approach to Channel Stabilization and Sediment Control in Pleasant Run Creek

Excessive sediment from channelized tributaries of the Hatchie River (TN) are degrading downstream aquatic habitat. Pleasant Run Creek is a channelized tributary to the Hatchie River, exhibiting significant soil erosion and channel incision problems. This project seeks to implement channel stabilization measures on private lands that will improve riparian habitat on Pleasant Run Creek and reduce sediment loading to the Hatchie River.

Altamaha River Flathead Project: More than One Way to Skin a Cat: Controlling the spread of invasive flathead catfish through research, outreach and education

The Altamaha River Watershed Conservation Action Plan cites invasive species as one of the six highest ranked threats. One of the invasive species thriving in portions of the watershed is the flathead catfish, which cause environmental harm, threaten native species, and can change the recreational value of an area for anglers. User groups (general public, children, anglers, commercial fishermen) as well as watershed managers must work together to control a population by size or area of infestation.

Bennet Bayou Coastal Marsh Restoration

Bennett Bayou’s is a gateway to the Pascagoula River marshes. The Pascagoula River is the largest unimpeded river system in the continental U.S. It supports habitats for about 22 threatened and endangered species, and serves as a critical refueling and rest stop for birds during intercontinental migrations. Beneficiaries of restoration include red drum, brown and white shrimp, Gulf sturgeon, speckled trout and Atlantic croaker.

Community-Based and Larger-Scale Oyster Restoration in ACE Basin NERR, South Carolina

This project will build intertidal shorelines with oyster reefs.

Erosion control in Doe/Mill/Wildcat Branch Watershed, Winston County, Alabama, to benefit Rush Darter

This project will reduce the threat to one of the last surviving populations of rush darter (Etheostoma phytophylum)in the Doe/Mill/Wildcat Branch Watershed in Winston County, Alabama to prevent the need for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Gravel Augmentation at Spawning Habitats in the Oconee and Ogeechee Rivers of Georgia

The robust redhorse (Moxostoma robustum), a species that had been lost to science for about 150 years, was discovered on the Oconee River in 1991. Wild populations subsequently found in the Savannah River (Georgia/South Carolina) and Pee Dee River (North Carolina) have been augmented by stocking in other areas of Georgia and South Carolina. The species is very particular about the water quality and depth as well as the gravel quality of its spawning sites. To encourage propagation of this native species, the Robust Redhorse Conservation Committee coordinates activities in several southeastern states. The gravel augmentation is expected to benefit invertebrates, including mussels, as well as anadromous species such as striped bass, American shad, and Atlantic sturgeon.

Habitat Data Collection to aid Buck Creek Watershed Restoration

Restoration of native vegetation, streams, riparian zones and wetlands along Buck Creek and its tributaries is an ongoing project that needs physical habitat data specific to target species of fishes and mussels. The restoration effort is addressing Kentucky’s number one source of impairment — sedimentation and siltation. The overall goal is to tailor existing stream restoration efforts to benefit over 11 species of fish and mussels including sport fish, federally listed endangered species, and sensitive species in Buck Creek.

Improved Recreational Fishing Through Community-based Oyster Reef Habitat Restoration, North Shore Eagle Point Oyster Restoration - Phase I and II

Oyster beds serve unique roles in estuaries, yet they are highly susceptible to over-harvesting, diseases and pollution. In addition to having both recreational and commercial value, oyster beds provide ecological benefits such as filtration and habitat for numerous species of invertebrates, fish, and plants.

Jockey's Ridge State Park Community-based Living Shoreline Restoration Phase I and II

Jockey’s Ridge State Park is the location of the largest sand dune system on the east coast. It is part of the Roanoke River Watershed, which flows from Virginia through North Carolina to the sea. Its estuarine shoreline had never been stabilized prior to making the area into a state park. However, the estuarine shoreline had been damaged by vehicle and foot traffic, and acres of salt marsh had disappeared.

Nuisance aquatic vegetation removal/control in Caddo Lake (TX and LA)

This project will remove and control nuisance aquatic vegetation in Caddo Lake within the states of Texas and Louisiana.

Oyster Reef Shoreline Restoration and Stabilization, MacDill AFB, FL

Over the past decade, the eastern shoreline of MacDill AFB has eroded, resulting in loss of native plant species such as black mangroves, palms, and 100-year-old live oaks. A five-phase project to stabilize the shoreline is creating a series of oyster reefs along undeveloped shoreline. The resultant oyster and mussel colonies will filter water and provide valuable habitat for fish and other aquatic resources. The reduced wave energy and accumulated sediment will encourage growth of native marsh grasses and mangroves, which will further stabilize the shoreline and improve the habitat.

Port Orange Living Shoreline and Oyster Reef Restoration System

This project, run primarily by the Marine Discovery Center, will increase intertidal shoreline and oyster reefs and vegetation will be planted.

Reintroduction of Native Brook Trout into Indian Flats Prong, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Brook trout, the only salmonid native to the southeast, have lost about 75% of their historic range due to past logging activities and introduction of non-native trout. In 1993, the National Park Service identified 10 streams that can support native southern Appalachian brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). The long term goal is to restore historic range of habitat for this native species.

Restore eroding streambanks in tribs of Buffalo National River (AR) affecting native mussels

This project will restore eroding stream banks in tributaries of the Buffalo National River (AR) affecting native mussels.

Restore native aquatic plants in the Santee Cooper system, SC to improve anadromous fish habitat

This project will restore native aquatic plants in the Santee Cooper System (South Carolina) in order to improve anadromous fish habitat.

Restoring Intertidal Oyster Reefs in Mosquito Lagoon

This project, lead by the Brevard Zoo, will increase acreage of intertidal oyster reef and assist in wake reduction.

Riparian habitat restoration for listed freshwater mussels in the Ochlockonee River Basin GA/FL

This project will restore riparian habitat for listed freshwater mussels in the Ochlockonee River Basin, within Georgia and Florida.

Stony Creek (VA) Riparian Restoration and Stream Habitat Improvement

This projected will restore stream and riparian habitat within Stony Creek, located in the state of Virginia.

Restoration of Connectivity to Coal Pile, a Backwater of the Arkansas River

In order to restore connectivity to Coal Pile, the canals from the Arkansas River into Coal Pile will be dredged with a Mudcat hydraulic dredge, which was recently obtained from federal surplus equipment for use on this project.

Wolf Pen Gap OHV Trail Complex Stream Crossing Improvement

This project will improve stream crossings and trails at the Wolf Pen Gap OHV Trail Complex in Arkansas. It will also improve connectivity and open stream habitat for fish.

Crabtree Swamp Habitat Restoration

The restoration of Crabtree Swamp is an innovative, "first of its kind" project, in which a previously channelized drainage basin is being returned to a blackwater hardwood swamp in which the floodplain is being recreated via earthmoving and replanting into functional habitat for fish, invertebrates and other wildlife. To match resources, the restoration project has been subdivided into 10 reaches.

Improved Red Drum Habitat through Community-based Oyster Reef Habitat Restoration

Little has been attempted to improve the habitat to ensure survival of stocked red drum fingerlings in SC waters This project will create additional oyster reefs in stocking areas. The impact will be many fold as other organisms will utilize the habitat and oyster population and water quality improvements will be recognized. Patches of hard substrate and 3-D reefs will be created in stocking areas, thus establishing quality habitat for red drum at this early life stage.

Living Shoreline - Little St. Simons Island, GA.

This project removed a failing bulkhead on Little St. Simons Island, GA and installed a living shoreline in its place to provide stream bank stabilization, habitat for eastern oysters, and essential fish habitat.

Deadman's Island Restoration Project

Lead by the City of Gulf Breeze, this project restored coastal barrier habitat on Deadman's Island.

GTMNERR Community Oyster Shell Recycling and Living Reef Construction Project

This project established an oyster shell recycling program for St. Johns County, Florida, constructed a living shoreline, and planted spartina grass within the boundaries of the new reef to further protect the shoreline and provide nursery habitat for marine species at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Pelican Point Shoreline Protection and Habitat Restoration Project

Led by The Nature Conservancy, the Pelican Point project created of two 56' oyster reefs at Pelican Point, north of the mouth of Weeks Bay on Mobile Bay to protect the shoreline and restore aquatic habitat.

Riparian and Stream Habitat Restoration for 14 Species in the Middle Fork Saline River Watershed, AR

This project consisted of riparian and stream habitat restoration for 14 Species in the Middle Fork Saline River Watershed, Arkansas

Oyster Reef Restoration Through the Use of Non-shell Cultch Material in the Estarine Areas of the Altamaha River, GA

Restoration of oysters along southeastern coasts is important for economic and ecological reasons. Oysters enhance waterquality. Their reefs buffer wave action adjacent to marshes, and they are harvested and marketed by commercial fishermen.

FISH Preserve Habitat Restoration Project

The Florida Institute For Saltwater Heritage (FISH) is restoring the “kitchen”, an important fisheries habitat for the section of shallow Sarasota Bay bottom south of Cortez. For villagers during the Depression, the kitchen provided food for the tables of their struggling families and was critical to their survival. In 1999, FISH raised money through community festivals to purchase 100 acres of environmentally-sensitive waterfront property that was slated for large scale development immediately east of the village. This historically-significant area became known as the FISH Preserve and is one of the last remaining undeveloped parcels on northern Sarasota Bay.

Tampa Bay Seagrass Transplanting Project

This project is a seagrass transplanting project within Tampa Bay, Florida.

NFHAP: Mackeys Creek Gulf Coast Strain Walleye Habitat Restoration

The initial phase of a project to restore a Gulf Coast strain of walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) population which had been in decline since the 1970s, was undertaken on a headwater stream of the Tombigbee River. The goal was to improve the spawning and rearing habitat by stabilizing a section of stream bank and to stop a head cut from advancing upstream.

Habitat restoration for Southern Appalachian brook trout in 5 Cherokee National Forest, TN streams

Drought and stressed habitat conditions exacerbated natural competition for food and space between brook trout and rainbow trout in several creeks in the Cherokee National Forest. Both species, popular with anglers, were declining due to drought in recent years. By improving or restoring habitats, and removing rainbow trout from certain areas, both species can more easily thrive in the forest.

Harpeth River Restoration

As part of a jointly funded project via the National Fish Passage Program, the totality of this project is removing a lowhead dam and restoring the immediate area to riffle/run habitat for the benefit of improved water quality and native fish habitat in the Harpeth River, TN.

Nashville crayfish Habitat Restoration on the Nashville Zoo Property

Mill Creek Watershed has been negatively affected by urbanization,resulting in increased sedimentation,reduced habitat quality, ultimately resulting in the Nashville crayfish being federally listed. This project will restore an unnamed tributary of Mill Creek by removing a barrier and restoring connectivity of the tributary.

Raccoon Creek Stream Restoration for Imperiled Aquatic Species in lower Etowah River Drainage

This project restored stream areas of Raccoon Creek for imperiled aquatic species in lower Etowah River drainage, Georgia. This project has resulted in several new partnerships, including a collaborative planning workshop for Paulding County held by SARP and the Southeast Watershed Forum.

Copper Creek In-Stream Habitat Restoration Project

This project improved riparian zones, water quality, appropriate sediment flows and restoring physical habitat for multiple listed aquatic species in the Copper Creek watershed, within the Upper Tennessee River Basin.

Channel, Bank, & Riparian Restoration to Improve Habitat and Water Quality in Kings River, AR

The natural course and riparian corridor of the Kings River have been significantly modified by various landowners over several decades, leading to channel instability and decreased habitat and water quality. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) purchased a preserve on the Kings River that includes nine miles of river. To protect and restore river and riparian habitat, TNC has created a stream channel and floodplain restoration project along 0.5 miles of the river.

Green River Enhancement within the Green River WMA, KY

The Green River and Green River Lake and provide aquatic habitat in the Green River Wildlife Management Area. The river is in declining condition due to severe erosion over almost four decades. Its restoration can allow it to support thriving populations of white bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, flathead catfish, walleye, and muskellunge, and provide sport challenges to anglers.

Lake Mary Weir Repair

This project repaired a Weir in Lake Mary within the state of Mississippi increasing water levels to benefit sport fish.

Promotion of Prescribed Fire

The use of prescribed fire as a habitat management tool is vital for many of the priority birds in the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region. Most species evolved to live in fire-mediated habitats that were common prior to European settlement. Fire suppression in these habitats is considered a significant factor in the declines of many grassland-shrubland bird populations. Promotion and protection of this management practice is important to achieving the CHJV’s population goals for these species.

Interior Highland Shortleaf Pine Initiative

The Interior Highlands region of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma once supported vast expanses of shortleaf pine-bluestem woodlands, as well as mixed stands of pine-oak and oak-pine which were maintained by frequent fires. Over the past century 53% of these open pine stands have been significantly altered due to forest structural changes caused by eliminating fire from the ecosystem and conversion to other agricultural uses. This caused a significant decline in several priority bird species including the Brown-headed Nuthatch, Bachman’s Sparrow, Northern Bobwhite, Prairie Warbler, Whip-poor-will and federally endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker which all rely on open pine forest stands with a diverse grass and forb understory.

Regional Glade Conservation Assessment

Glades and glade-woodland complexes are natural communities which provide high-quality habitat for several priority bird species including the Prairie Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Field Sparrow, Northern Bobwhite, Eastern Wood-Pewee. We also recognize the importance of glade complexes to other flora and fauna species of conservation concern.

Connectivity for Climate Change in the Southeastern United States

Climate change is already affecting biodiversity, changing the dates when birds arrive to breed and when flowers bloom in spring, and shifting the ranges of species as they move to cooler places. One problem for wildlife as their ranges shift is that their path is often impeded – their habitats have become fragmented by agriculture and urbanization, presenting barriers to their migration. Because of this, the most common recommended strategy to protect wildlife as climate changes is to connect their habitats, providing them safe passage. There are great challenges to implementing this strategy in the southeastern U.S., however, because most intervening lands between habitat patches are held in private ownership. We will combine data on key wildlife species and their habitats throughout the southeastern U.S. with new computer modeling technologies that allow us to identify key connections that will be robust to regional and global changes in climate and land use.
Completion Date

Hydrological modeling for flow-ecology science in the Southeastern United States

Stream flows are essential for maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems and for supporting human water supply needs. Integrated modeling approaches assessing the impact of changes in climate, land use, and water withdrawals on stream flows and the subsequent impact of changes in flow regime on aquatic biota at multiple spatial scales are necessary to insure an adequate supply of water for humans and healthy river ecosystems. The combined application of simple, large scale models with more complex, high resolution models has the potential to provide for more robust climate change impact studies, which focus on maintaining a better balance between the availability of water to support aquatic assemblages while conserving water for long-term human needs than using either approach in isolation.

Assessment of terrestrial and aquatic monitoring programs in the Southeastern United States

A significant challenge faced by climate scientists in the public and private sector is the need for information about the historical status of ecological systems expected to be influenced by climate change. The need is especially acute for reliable and complete information about monitoring networks maintained by government and non-governmental organizations and associated data. While many organizations monitor one or more aspects of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, these monitoring programs are seldom coordinated and information about both the networks and the associated data are not readily available. The DOI Southeast Climate Science Center is participating in an effort by multiple federal, state, and other organizations to develop a comprehensive and integrated assessment of monitoring networks associated with atmospheric, stream, and terrestrial ecosystems. The objective of this two-year project is to support the development of this assessment.

Communicating and Using Uncertain Scientific Information in the Production of ‘Actionable Science’

Conservation practitioners must navigate many challenges to advance effective natural-resource management in the presence of multiple uncertainties. Numerous climatic and ecological changes remain on the horizon, and their eventual consequences are not completely understood. Even so, their influences are expected to impact important resources and the people that depend on them across local, regional, and sometimes global scales. Although forecasts of future conditions are almost always imperfect, decision makers are increasingly expected to communicate and use uncertain information when making policy choices that affect multiple user groups. The degree to which management objectives are met can depend on 1) how critical uncertainties are identified and accounted for, and 2) effective communication among user groups, scientists, and resource managers.

Synthesis of climate model downscaling products for the southeastern United States

Downscaling translates large-scale climate information to the local scale. There are several techniques for handling this process; recently, several downscaled climate products have been produced by government and academic researchers. Ecologists, conservation scientists, and practitioners require such local guidance to evaluate adaptation and conservation strategies. However, the large number of methods involved, different downscaling approaches, resolutions, time periods, and focal variables limits the ability of these users to form meaningful conclusions and evaluate the results of adaptation strategies. To address these issues, this project will summarize the methods used for downscaling, identify the metrics most appropriate for evaluation of climate model skill and usability for the ecological and conservation communities in the southeastern US, and begin a longer-term effort to evaluate the range of downscaled climate products over this geographic region.
Completion Date

Developing long-term urbanization scenarios for the Appalachian and Gulf Coastal Plain and Ozarks LCCs as part of the Southeast Regional Assessment Project

Traditional urban growth models are very localized and data-intensive and lack the capability to be applied across large regions, in response to these limitations the North Carolina Cooperative Research Unit began using the USGS SLEUTH urban growth model to develop urbanization scenarios as part of the Southeast Regional Assessment Project (SERAP). Extensive modifications of the model framework and calibration were undertaken that resulted in the ability to rapidly develop urbanization scenarios for very large regions, such as the Appalachian and Gulf Coastal Plain Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs). This new modeling effort allows LCC’s to address fundamental questions that affect conservation planning over decadal time scales.
Completion Date

Bringing people, data, and models together - addressing impacts of climate change on stream temperature

Few previous studies have focused on how climate change may impact headwater systems, despite the importance of these areas for aquatic refugia. The lack of these studies has resulted in the majority of climate impact assessments focusing on conservation of ecological systems at broad levels, and has not focused on turning results into useful and actionable information for managers on the ground. A critical and timely research question is: “What data and modeling frameworks are needed to provide scientists reliable, climate-informed, water temperature estimates for freshwater ecosystems that can assist watershed management decision making?” This research will answer this through two primary activities: 1) gathering and compiling existing stream temperature data within the DOI-Northeast region and subsequent deployment of data loggers to areas where additional data are needed, and 2) an intercomparison of state-of-the-art statistical and deterministic stream temperature models to evaluate their ability to replicate point stream temperature measurements and model scalability to non-gaged sites with the Northeast region.

Characterization of spatial and temporal variability in fishes in response to climate change

Predicting population responses to climate change requires an understanding of how population dynamics vary over space and time. For instance, a measured indicator may vary among repeated samples from a single site, from site to site within a lake, from lake to lake, and over time. Although variability has historically been viewed as an impediment to understanding population responses to ecological changes, the structure of variation can also be an important part of the response. In this project, we will build upon recently completed analyses of fish population data in the Great Lakes basin to help predict how spatial and temporal variation in fish populations may respond to climate change and other important drivers.

Assessing climate-sensitive ecosystems in the southeastern United States

The southeastern U.S. contains a unique diversity of ecosystems that provide important benefits, including habitat for wildlife and plants, water quality, and recreation opportunities. As climate changes, a better understanding of how our ecosystems will be affected is vital for identifying strategies to protect these ecosystems. While information on climate change affects exists for some ecosystems and some places, a synthesis of this information for key ecosystems across the entire Southeast will enable regional decision-makers, including the LCCs, to prioritize current efforts and plan future research and monitoring.
Completion Date

Critically evaluating existing methods and supporting a standardization of terrestrial and wetland habitat classification and mapping that includes characterization of climate sensitive systems

This project coordinates with partners to provide a systematic comparison of existing habitat classification and mapping products within the footprint of the Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC), a merged and improved map product as far as possible, an evaluation of habitats vulnerable to climate change within the region, and recommendations for needed improvement in habitat mapping products for the future.

Climate Simulations for Southeast and Appalachians

A DOI Southeast Climate Science Center funded research project will be evaluating the latest generation of global climate models to generate scenarios of future change to climate, hydrology, and vegetation for the Southeastern U.S. as well as the entire range of the Appalachian LCC.

Evaluating Effect of Climate Change on River Flows in the Clinch River Basin

A new project by the U.S. Geological Survey is evaluating the potential cascading effects to river flows and quality aquatic habitat due to changes in climate within an ecologically important area of the Appalachian LCC. A greater understanding of likely flow changes within the Virginia portion of the Clinch River Basin will allow managers to better respond to alterations and degradation of physical habitat. Information and results from this study will also provide managers with methods to be applied throughout the Appalachian LCC region. (Photo by Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries)

Restoring Coal-Mined Lands to Create Habitat for Imperiled Birds

AMJV and the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative are partnering up to re-establish habitat on previously mined land to create greater breeding grounds for declining bird species in the Appalachian Region. Using ARRI’s Forestry Reclamation Approach, this collaboration is replanting trees on disturbed sites in heavily populated bird areas to restore the function and form of habitats that existed prior to mining.

Impact of Urbanization on Priority Bird Populations

25 bird species models were developed to determine the sensitivity of priority bird species populations to urbanization.

Chiapas/Appalachian/Pacific Alliance

Many of the bird species that breed in the AMJV spend the fall and winter months in Mexico and Central and South America. Our partnership is committed to work with international partners to design and implement efficient and effective conservation projects for priority species on their migratory pathways and wintering areas.

Assessing Forest Fragmentation from Marcellus Shale Gas Development

Expansion of drilling sites and associated infrastructure to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale deposits has the potential to significantly reduce existing forest cover across the Marcellus field and leave what remains in a fragmented state.

Brook Trout Restoration and Expansion

This project will restore and improve stream and riparian habitat within a 2,357 foot project area located in the headwaters of Garth Run which was severely impacted by catastrophic flooding that occurred in 1995.
Completion Date

Assessment and Restoration of Southern Appalachian Brook Trout

This project will complete an assessment of brook trout in-stream habitat, water quality, and fish distribution information in all Jocassee Gorges streams during the first two years of the project.

Cerulean Warbler Forest Management Project

The Cerulean Warbler project was initiated to allow the scientific and management communities to test forestry methods and use experimental harvesting of timber to enhance Cerulean Warbler habitat.
Completion Date

Forestlands Best Management Practices for Golden-winged Warblers

Combing through habitat literature and conducting two years of surveys for the presence of Golden-winged Warblers at forest stands, the AMJV and partners developed best management practices for providing breeding habitat for Golden-winged Warblers through timber harvesting.
Completion Date

Data Needs Assessment

The Data Needs Assessment research project was undertaken to review the variety of resources on conservation planning to provide packages of products, data, and identified data gaps to improve conservation planning in the Appalachian LCC. A suite of core conservation planning products and data from principal investigators at Clemson University are now available to the Cooperative.

Riparian Restoration to Promote Climate Change Resilience in Eastern U.S. Streams

Provision of shade via riparian restoration is a well-established management adaptation strategy to mitigate against temperature increases in streams. Effective use of this strategy depends upon accurately identifying vulnerable, unforested riparian areas in priority coldwater stream habitats. An innovative riparian planting and restoration decision support tool is now available to the conservation community. This user-friendly tool allows managers and decision-makers to rapidly identify and prioritize areas along the banks of rivers, streams, and lakes for restoration, making these ecosystems more resilient to disturbance and future changes in climate.

Species and Habitat Vulnerability Assessments of Appalachian Species and Habitats

Future climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies will be dependent on the best available projections of how the regional climate will change and the impacts those changes will have on the region’s natural and cultural resources. Understanding the vulnerability of various species and habitats to climate change within the Appalachian LCC is of critical importance for making effective conservation decisions. The AppLCC funded a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment research project that addresses several factors: 1) how the Cooperative should acquire information about the climate vulnerability of Appalachian species and habitats to develop vulnerability assessments for a suite of key species and habitats to share with partners; 2) compilation of known vulnerability assessments of species and habitats, and 3) new climate change vulnerability assessments of selected species and habitats in the AppLCC region.

Assessing Future Energy Development Across the Appalachians

Assessing Future Energy Development across the Appalachian LCC used models that combined data on energy development trends and identified where these may intersect with important natural resource and ecosystem services to give a more comprehensive picture of what potential energy development could look like in the Appalachians. Ultimately this information is intended to support dialogue and conservation on how to effectively avoid, minimize, and offset impacts from energy development to important natural areas and the valuable services they provide.

A Stream Classification System for the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Unifying state-based stream classifications into a single consistent system, principal investigators at The Nature Conservancy developed a hierarchical classification system and map for stream and river systems for the Appalachian LCC that represents the region’s natural flowing-water aquatic habitats. This river classification information is needed to develop and implement instream flow standards and management recommendations so that environmental flows can become integral to all water management decisions from the onset.

Environmental Flows from Water Withdrawals in the Marcellus Shale Region

The Appalachian LCC collaborated with Cornell University to study the environmental impacts of water withdrawals in the Central Appalachian region. The rivers and streams of the Central Appalachians are home to more than 200 species of fish and other aquatic life. They also provide a reliable source of drinking water, recreational opportunities and associated economic benefits to people living in large cities and surrounding communities. This research looks at how the region’s surface freshwater supply – and the health of natural systems delivering this resource – have been impacted and may be altered in the coming years under increasing water withdrawals. It focuses on the Marcellus Shale region in the Central Appalachians, including portions of NY, PA, OH, MD, WV and VA.