Fathel, Siobhan, Earth and Environmental Sciences , Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove , PA, 17870, email@example.com; Wilson, Matthew, J., Freshwater Research Institute, Susquehanna Univeristy, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove , PA, 17870, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ressler, Daniel, Earth and Environmental Sciences Susquehanna University 514 University Ave Selinsgrove PA, 17870, email@example.com.
Ephemeral streams face ecological and hydrological challenges, especially in areas where they become conduits for stormwater runoff from urban and agricultural landscapes. This study focuses on the installation of beaver dam analogs (BDAs) as a restoration technique for an ephemeral, gravel-bed stream located at Susquehanna University’s Center for Environmental Education and Research (CEER), which experiences erosion and infrastructure damage due to stormwater runoff from a nearby housing development and an unbuffered agricultural field. This fall, a series of eight BDAs were installed along a 200-meter stretch to mimic the natural structures built by beavers, and thereby reduce the impact of flood damage during heavy rain events wherein BDAs slow, divert, and temporarily store stormwater that would otherwise contribute to erosion and flooding downstream. To characterize initial stream conditions a longitudinal profile, cross-section profiles at each dam location, and bed substrate characterization were performed. Erosion and deposition of substrate will be monitored and quantified seasonally using time series imagery, subsequent cross-section surveys, and measurements from in-situ instruments. This study marks the first PA-DEP permitted application of BDAs as a restoration technique in Pennsylvania and has the potential to transition this ephemeral stream into a perennial one. This study presents significant environmental implications for stream restoration efforts in regions affected by stormwater runoff, while also offering a potentially cost-effective, ecological engineering solution.
stream restoration , beaver dam analog , stormwater management.