Habitat Quality Assessment, Habitat Suitability Modeling, Barrier Assessment, Infrastructure Assessment, Point Source Pollution, Non-point Source Pollution, Mitigation
The proposed 52 mile Birmingham Northern Beltline crosses numerous creeks, and as part of minimizing the environmental impact of the project, documenting instream conditions within the affected creeks is a fundamental component. To aid in documenting the current conditions within the stream channels of Turkey Creek, our team used HDSS to provide up-to-date, geo-referenced video and develop spatially continuous maps of bank and stream conditions. The survey data can be used in many ways but this report will focus on the method’s ability to: 1) provide a baseline characterization of river bank and instream conditions in during the survey, 2) develop aquatic habitat GIS layers for depth, habitat type (pool, riffle, run), substrate type, percent embeddedness, and left and right bank condition scores, 3) document areas of high habitat suitability for endangered darter species, and 4) identify areas that are most suitable for mitigation restoration. Rather than restore streambanks where no darters will benefit from the investment, we used the HDSS data to locate areas with the greatest instream habitat combined with poor streambank condition.