Small streams disrupted by military training activities or commercial development can be restored with simple and inexpensive measures, according to findings of a group headed by Pat Mulholland of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Researchers from ORNL and Auburn University learned that streams can be adversely affected even if as little as 10 percent of the watershed is disturbed.
In their study, conducted at Fort Benning, Ga., the researchers found that revegetating drainage ditches that carry water only during storms and adding dead trees and woody debris to stream channels helped trap smaller organic materials and improve the habitat for stream organisms, including fish.
"This project has provided the military with an improved understanding of its effects on streams and a possible approach for mitigating some of those effects," Mulholland said.
The project was named Sustainable Infrastructure Project of the Year by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, which funded the work.
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