Trutta Environmental Solutions

Application of the Bank Erosion Susceptibility Index (BESI): Bear Creek, Alabama

Habitat Quality Assessment, Habitat Suitability Modeling, Barrier Assessment, Infrastructure Assessment, Point Source Pollution, Non-point Source Pollution

The Bear Creek survey collected 64 miles of streambank data at one-second intervals.  BESI (Connell 2012) was applied to tie into a simultaneously running bridge and culvert study of over 650 crossings that was using the BEHI (Rosgen, 2001).  The ability to rank stream sections and entire watersheds will reduce subjectivity when prioritizing future restoration areas.  Combining the results of these surveys with data on other important factors such as land ownership, land use, geology, and jurisdictional boundaries using a GIS approach will allow further prioritization of restoration sites. A key advantage of collecting geo-referenced video of streambank conditions along an entire survey section is the ability to review conditions at any site within the watershed at a later date.  Thus, changes over time can be easily documented for sites throughout the watershed.  The data can be shared as a data table (in spreadsheet or database format), as a shapefile for use in mapping software, or as video files to directly review the survey information. Importantly, the bank condition survey data can be combined with various other data sets to create new and novel analyses of conditions and management actions, which will support the long-term goals of improving water quality, habitat and species within the Bear Creek River system.

Map from the Bear Creek survey showing the dual tracklog option to see both left and right conditions simultaneously.