Coastal Plain metrics

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Nov 30, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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1

Chesapeake Bay Program Indicator Framework

Reporting Level Indicators

Indicator and Data Survey



A. Category/Name/Source/Contact


(1) Category of Indicator

___ Factors Impacting Bay and Watershed Health


___ Restoration and Protection Efforts


_
X
__
River

Health


___ Bay Health



(2) Name of Indicator:


H
ealth

of Freshwater Streams in the

Chesapeake Bay

Watershed


(3) Data Set Description:




For what purpose(s) were the data collected? (e.g., tracking, research, or long
-
term monitoring.)

All of the a
bove

Which parameters were measured directly?
Habitat,
watershed characteristics,
water
quality, and benthic biometrics were measured directly.
See list below
:


Habitat metrics:
Bank Stability,

Channel Alteration,

Habitat Heterogeneity,

Instream

Condition, Riparian Zone condition,

Substrate Quality

Watershed characteristics

(only

in

North Central Appalachians and Northern
Appalachian Plateau and Uplands

bioregions
)
:

% forested, % impervious, # NPDES
permits

Water quality metrics:

pH , Conductivi
ty

Biometrics:

Coastal Plain metrics
:
Taxa Richness, Ephemeroptera
-
Plecoptera
-
Trichoptera

(EPT) count, % Ephemeroptera, Hilsenhoff Biotic Index, and % Clinger.

Non
-
Coastal Plain metrics (by
bioregion
)
:

Piedmont:

The Family Level Hilsenhoff

Biotic Index (FBI), %Collector, % Diptera, %
EPT, and the Shannon Weiner Index

Ridges:

Beck’s Index 100, % Ephemeroptera, % Scraper, % Swimmer, and the Shannon
Weiner Index

Valleys:

Beck’s Index100, % Ephemeroptera, % EPT Taxa Richness, % Scraper, and the

Shannon Weiner Index

North Central Appalachians:
EPT Taxa Count No Tolerants 100, % Ephemeroptera, %
Scraper, Shannon Weiner Index, and Taxa Richness 100

Northern Appalachian Plateau and Uplands
:

Family Level Hilsenhoff Index, % Gatherer,
% Plecoptera, %T
richoptera no Hydropsychidae, and Taxa Richness 100



2






Which were obtained by calculation?
The overall benthic index of biotic integrity
is calculated

using all of the above collected data
.


(4) Source(s) of Data:

Anne Arundel County (MD) Department of Pu
blic Works, City of
Baltimore (MD) Department of Public Works, Baltimore County (MD) Department of
Environmental Protection,

Delaware Biological Monitoring Program, Fairfax County
(VA)

Stream Quality Assessment Program, Frederick County (MD), Howard County

(MD) Bio
-
Monitoring and

Assessment Program, Loudoun County (VA) Stream Quality
Assessment Program, Montgomery County (MD)

Stream Protection Program, Maryland
Biological Stream Survey, New York Routine Statewide Monitoring Program,

Pennsylvania Surface Wat
er Monitoring Programs, Prince Georges County (MD)
Biological Assessment and

Monitoring Program, Susquehanna River Basin Commission
-
Watershed Assessment Program, EPA EMAP Wadeable

Stream Assessment, EPA Mid
-
Atlantic Highlands Assessment, National Forest Se
rvice Stream Assessment, USGS

National Water Quality Assessment Program, Virginia DEQ Benthic Monitoring
Program, Virginia Commonwealth

University’s Interactive Stream Assessment Resource
Program, and the West Virginia Watershed Monitoring

Program.




Is
the complete data set accessible, including metadata, data
-
dictionaries and embedded
definitions? If yes, please indicate where complete dataset can be obtained.

Complete
dataset can be obtained from
CBPO
:
http://www.chesapeakebay.net/data/downloads/watershed_wide_benthic_invertebrate_da
tabase



(5) Custodian of Source Data (and Indicator, if different):

Jackie Johnson, Interstate
Commission on the Poto
mac River Basin, CBPO


(6) CBPO Contact:

Katie Foreman, 1
-
800
-
YOUR
-
BAY ext. 837


B. Communication Questions (complete either part 1, 2, or 3)

1. Restoration and Protection Efforts indicators only

(7a) How much has been completed since 1985 (or baseline
year)? How much has been
completed since 2000?

(8a) How much was done last year?

(9a) What is the current status in relation to a goal?

(10a) What is the key story told by this indicator?


3

(11a) Why is it important to report this information?

(12a) What de
tail and/or diagnostic indicators are related to this reporting level indicator?
(Detail and diagnostic indicators can be spatially
-
specific, parameter
-
specific,
temporally
-
specific information, etc.)

2.
Bay Health or Watershed Health indicators only

(7b)

What is the long
-
term trend? (since start of data collection)


Since this indicator is relatively new, it has not been in use long enough to characterize a
long
-
term trend, so only the average B
-
IBI scores from 2000
-
20
10

data are portrayed.


Trends are
difficult to determine because many programs monitor benthic
macroinvertebrates on a rotating cycle, with data from one year representing a two
-

to 10
-
year period.


There are some sites that have been sampled several times, and the potential
for identifyin
g trends at these sites will be explored in the coming year.

.

(8b) What is the short
-
term trend? (10
-
year trend)

Since this indicator is relatively new, it
has not been in use long enough to characterize a short
-
term trend, so only the average B
-
IBI score
s from 2000
-
20
10

data are portrayed.


(9b) What is the current status in relation to a goal?

Healthy fresh water streams are
intrinsically related to a healthy Bay.

It can generally be said that a healthy Bay
Watershed would have the majority of the sites ranked as fair, good, or excellent.
The

Chesapeake Bay Executive Order strategy

states a

goal

to i
mprove the health of streams
where

70% of sampled stream sites

thro
ughout the Chesapeake watershed rate fair, good,
or excellent by 2025


(FLC 2010). Currently 4
3

percent of sampled streams are rated
fair, good or excellent

over the 2000
-
2010 timeframe
.


(10b) What is the key story told by this indicator
?

The health of s
treams varies from very
poor to excellent throughout the Bay Watershed (see results on the map
).
Of the
10,492

sites sampled using a random sampling design, the following summarizes the amount of
sites that were rated in excellent, good, fair, poor, and very poor condition (respectively):
1
3

% (
1,388

sites), 1
2
% (
1,305

sites), 1
8
% (
1,844

sites), 15% (
1,578

sites),

and
42
%
(
4,377

sites).


When results are averaged across the largest watershed size possible (HUC
8) the percent of watershed area that was

rated in excellent, good, fair, poor, and very
poor condition

was

(respectively):

0%,
11
%,
53
%,
19
%,
7
%
;


5
%
had
no
rating and
5
%

had
no data.



4

These results show a clear link between the
watershed
-
wide

B
-
IBI scores and land
-
based
activities in individual watersheds. The poorest stream indexes occur in highly urbanized
watersheds such as those in the Baltimore
-
Washington D.C. metropolitan region. Stream
health is compromised in urban areas by extreme lan
d disturbance and an abundance of
paved surfaces. These stressors result in high levels of

pollution, altered stream flow, and
poor quantity and quality of streamside vegetation. Lower scores in the Chesapeake Bay
basin are also present in areas with inten
se agricultural activity such as the lower Eastern
Shore and south central Pennsylvania. Excess nutrients and sediment compromise stream
health in these areas. The Upper West Branch of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania
appears to be compromised by mini
ng activity which causes habitat alterations and toxic
plumes that negatively impact benthic stream populat
ions. The highest

B
-
IBI scores are
typically found in minimally disturbed watersheds with low levels of pollution and stable
in
-
stream and streamside

habitats. These watersheds tend to be clustered in forested areas
of the upper James and Potomac rivers and the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.



(11b) Why is it important to report this information?

Healthy freshwater
streams and rivers

have local and regional importance. Clean
waterways are a benefit to residents who use them for drinking water, family activities,
business and other purpose
s. The watershed’s streams, creeks and rivers also eventually
flow into the Bay, so their water quality has a direct impact on the health of the estuary.

An effective way to measure the health of freshwater streams and rivers is to study the
many tiny cre
atures that live in these waters. The abundance and diversity of snails,
mussels, insects and other bottom
-
dwelling organisms
-


known as benthic
macroinvertebrates
-


are good indicators of the health of streams because these creatures
can’t move very far

and they respond in certain predictable ways to pollution and
environmental stresses.


(12b) What detail and/or diagnostic indicators are related to this reporting level
indicator?

Benthic macroinvertebrate

health status

map

3.
Factors Impacting Bay and
Watershed Health indicators only

(7c) What is the long
-
term trend? (since start of data collection)

(8c) What is the short
-
term trend? (5
-
year trend and 10
-
year trend)

(9c) What is the current status?

(10c) What is the key story told by this indicator?


5

(1
1c) Why is it important to report this information?

(12c) What detail and/or diagnostic indicators are related to this reporting level indicator?


4
.
All

indicators



(7d
)
What did the most recent data show compared to the previous year

(2011
-
2012)
?

N/A


(8d) If this was a significant increase/decrease:



To what do you attribute it?
N/A



Is this educat
ed speculation or actual cause?

N/A

(9d
)
What is the
goal, target, threshold or expected outcome for this indicator?

A passing
grade of “an index value greater

than or equal to a value of 21 on a scale of 7
-

35” (or “3
on a scale of 1


5”) was selected. This goal is directly comparable to the estuarine
phytoplankton and benthic IBI restoration goals of “index values greater than or equal to
3 on a scale of 1


5.”

This threshold relates to the qualitative scores of fair, good, and
excellent categories in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed B
-
IBI.


(10d
)
Was a new goal, target, threshold or expected outcome established since last
reporting?

No
Why?

N/A

(11d
)
Did

the methodology of dat
a collection or analysis change from previous year(s)?
Why and how?

No



If so, how will this improve your/our future work?

N/A


C. Temporal Considerations


(13) Data Collection Date(s):

M
any programs monitor benthic macroinvertebrate
s on a
rotating cycle, with data from one year representing a two
-

to 10
-
year period.


Although
only the 20
10

reporting year is shown, many states monitor benthic macroinvertebrates
on a rotating cycle with data included in one reporting year that
can refl
ect a 2
-

10

year
period.


(14) Planned Update Frequency (e.g.
-

annual, bi
-
annual):


(a) Source Data:

TBD


(b) Indicator:

TBD


(15) For annual reporting, month spatial data is available for reporting:

TBD


D. Spatial Considerations



6

(16) Type of
Geography of Source Data (point, line polygon, other):

polygon data


average B
-
IBI scores
averaged

by HUC 8 and 10 watersheds


(17) Acceptable Level of Spatial Aggregation (e.g.
-

county, state, major basin, tributary
basin, HUC):
HUC 8 and 10


(18) Are th
ere geographic areas with missing data? If so, where?

Only data from
randomly or systematically (grid) sampled sites are used to illustrate B
-
IBI scores. Thus
there are s
ome data holes

that

do not
allow

for
averaging of score by sub
-
watershed

in
parts of

New York and Pennsylvania
.

In the 2000
-

20
10

period, Pennsylvania and New
York monitoring programs collected data from many sampling sites identified as
“targeted” (such as sites below an outfall of a pollutant source) and these data were not
included he
re in order to avoid the presumed bias introduced by targeted site data.
Watershed ratings in Pennsylvania and New York are therefore less certain because they
are derived from fewer random/systematic sites.



(19) The spatial extent of this indicator
best described as:

(a) Chesapeake Bay (estuary)

(b) Chesapeake Bay Watershed

(c) Other (please describe): _______________________



Please submit any appropriate examples of how this information has been mapped or
otherwise portrayed geographically in the
past.

Information on state’s 303(d)
biological
impairment
assessments were mapped

based on stream segment

in the 2007
Bay
Barometer
.

B
-
IBI data was
also
presented in the 2008 and 2009 Bay Barometer’s using
different methodology and portrayed as a map showing individual scores at each
sampling location.
In
20
10

this information was similarly mapped and

summarized by
sub
-
watersheds.


(20) Can appropriate dia
gnostic indicators be represented geographically?

Yes. Please
see benthic macroinvertebrate
health

status

map.


E. Data Analysis and Interpretation: (
Please provide appropriate references and
location of documentation if hard to find.)



(21)

Is the conc
eptual model used to transform these measurements into an indicator
widely accepted as a scientifically sound representation of the phenomenon it indicates?
(i.e., how well do the data represent the phenomenon?)

This

indicator


has undergone
extensive te
chnical and peer review by Chesapeake
Bay Partnership members of a
specific adhoc workgroup of biologists created to improve previous iterations of this
indicator. The indicator was also reviewed by the n
on
-
tidal water quality workgroup as
well as the

Sc
ientific and Technical Analysis and Reporting team.

Data collection, data
analysis and QA/QC
are

conducted by the principal investigators/scientists. The data are
peer reviewed by scientists on the workgroup. Data selection and interpretation, the
presentation of the indicator, along with all supporting information and conclusions, are

7

arrived at via

consensus by the scientists.
The basis for the m
ethodology used to create
this indicator is published in a peer
-
reviewed scientific journal (Astin 2006, 2007). The
workgroup presented

the indicator to the subcommittee where extensive peer review by
Bay

P
rogram managers occurs.



(22) What is the process by which the raw data is summarized for development and
presentation of the indicator?
Benthic Macroinvertebrates are collected in the field and
their communities are

summarized by basic benthic biometri
cs.
The non
-
tidal workgroup
and the adhoc benthic workgroup
have

developed a Chesapeake Bay Basin
-
wide B
-
IBI to
score each sampling
event’s

benthic community in a sta
ndardized fashion. (
Buchanan et
al. 2011,

Astin 2006, 2007). Once
sampling events were

s
cored, B
-
IBI scores were
averaged for each site over the dataset to create one score for each site.
In order to
enhance interpretation and usefulness of the results, the index scores were averaged
across the smallest feasible watershed size. At this time,
the smallest feasible watershed
size proves to be the USGS Hydrologic Unit Category (HUC) 8 in sparsely sampled areas
of the Chesapeake Bay basin and the smaller HUC 10 in more intensely sampled areas.




(23) Are any tools required to generate the indicat
or data (e.g.
-

Interpolator, watershed
model)

Yes.
The Chesapeake Bay Basin
-
wide B
-
IBI. (
Buchanan et al. 2011
).


(24)
Are the computations
widely accepted as a scientifically sound?

Yes
.
This index
uses

multiple metrics t
o assess

species
habit,
tolerance, richness and composition
.

The
development of a
Chesapeake B
-
IBI was based on methods that are published in a
scientific peer
-
reviewed journal
.

(Astin 2006, 2007).



(25)
Have appropriate statistical methods been used to generalize or portray d
ata beyond
the time or spatial locations where measurements were made (e.g., statistical survey
inference, no generalization is possible)?
NA



(26)
Are there established reference points, thresholds or ranges of values for this
indicator that unambiguously reflect the
desired

state of the environment?
(health/stressors only)

Yes.
The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) has adopted the
approach of presentin
g indicators as a “percent of restoration goal achieved.” A passing
grade of “an index value greater than or equal to a value of 21 on a scale of 7
-

35” (or “3
on a scale of 1


5”) was selected. This goal is directly comparable to the estuarine
phytoplan
kton and benthic IBI restoration goals of “index values greater than or equal to
3 on a scale of 1


5.”

This threshold relates to the qualitative scores of
fair, good, and
excellent categories

in the Chesapeake Bay
Watershed
B
-
IBI.



F. Data Quality: (
Please provide appropriate references and location of documentation
if hard to find.)



(27) Were the data collected according to an EPA
-
approved Quality Assurance Plan?


8

If no, complete questions 28a


28d:


(28a) Are the sampling design, monitoring plan

and/or tracking system used to collect the
data over time and space based on sound scientific principles?

Yes.


(28b) What documentation clearly and completely describes the underlying sampling and
analytical procedures used?

Please see:

(USEPA

1997
)

http://www.mde.state.md.us/assets/document/Revised%20Final%202006%20IR%20Parts
%20F
-
N_appendices.pdf


http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/661.html


(
http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/watersupply/lib/watersupply/AssessmentMethodology.pd
f
)
;

http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Pro
grams/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQu
alityMonitoring.aspx


http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/rbp


http://www
.dep.wv.gov/WWE/watershed/bio_fish/Pages/Bio_Fish.aspx



http://www.littlekanawha.com/536_WV
-
Index.pdf

http://www.fs.fed.us/waterdata/PDFfiles/FieldGuide_Turk.pdf

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/environmental/sps_techb.htm#Protocols



http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/deatmpl.asp?url=/content/dep/dephome/index.as
p


http://water.epa.gov/scitech/monitoring/rsl/bioassessment/app_b
-
1.cfm



http://www.srbc.net/atlas/index.asp



http://www.dnr.st
ate.md.us/streams/streamWaders.asp


http://instar.vcu.edu/


http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/wsa/materials.html



(28c) Are the sampling and analytical procedures widely accepted as scientifically and
technically valid?
Yes. Most sampling procedu
res are modification
s

of the

9

Enviro
n
mental Protection Agency’s Rapid Bioassessment Protocols

for Use in Stream
and Wadeable

Rivers

(
Plafkin et al. 1989
)
.

Please see:

http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/rbp/



(28d) To

what extent are the procedures for quality assurance and quality control of the
data documented and accessible?

Each
organization

has
documented procedures

for
quality assurance within their sampling de
sign documents (28b) and in the following
links:


http://www.deq.state.va.us/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQual
ityMonitoring/BiologicalMonitoring.aspx


http://www.jnabs.org/doi/abs/10.2307/1468286


http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/661.html?


http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/watersupply/lib/watersupply/PCRbpLime.pdf


http://www.dnr.state.md.us/streams/publications.asp


http://www.srbc.net/programs/monitoringprotection.htm


http://www.fs.fed.us/waterdata/PDFfiles/FieldGuide_Turk.pdf


http://www.fairfaxcounty.go
v/dpwes/environmental/sps_techb.htm#Protocols



http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/deatmpl.asp?url=/content/dep/dephome/index.as
p



http://www.dnr.state.md.us/streams/streamWaders.asp


http://instar.vcu.edu/


http://www.epa.gov/owow/moni
toring/wsa/materials.html



(29)
Are the descriptions of the study or survey design clear, complete and sufficient to
enable the study or survey to be reproduced?

Yes
, please see 28b
.


(30) Were the sampling and analysis methods performed consistently
throughout the data
record?

No.
There are differences in
sampling analysis and methodology between
sampling

agencies
,

please see 28b for references
.

Please see table 1

with

an example of a
subset of

individual
sampling organization’s
methodology

details

at the end of this

10

document.



(31) If datasets from two or more agencies are merged, are their sampling designs and
methods comparable?

Sampling designs are not 100% comparable,
however the
development of the Chesapeake Bay Basin
-
wide B
-
IBI standardizes the data so it can be
compared across
jurisdictions

(
Buchanan et al. 2011,
Astin 2006, 2007).


(32) Are uncertainty measurements or estimates available for the indicator and/or the

underlying data set?


Yes
,
each data source has uncertainty measurements in data
collection and a jackknife validation of the B
-
IBI estimates error associated with
the B
-
IBI calculations
(
Buchanan et al. 2011)
.


(33)
Do the uncertainty and variability im
pact the conclusions that can be inferred from
the data and the utility of the indicator?

Maybe, most issues of
uncertainty

and variability
have been resolved in the indicator development. However, more analysis needs to be
done on how to continue to decr
ease the error that differences in sampling design

might
have on final results.


(34)
Are there noteworthy limitations or gaps in the data record? Please explain.

Pennsylvania and New York did not used random sampling designs until more recently
and
therefore the evaluation of watersheds in these states tend to be at a coarser
watershed level, and in some cases, there were not enough sites to average across the
HUC 8 watershed.

In the 2000
-

20
10

period, Pennsylvania and New York monitoring
programs c
ollected data from many sampling sites identified as “targeted” (such as sites
below an outfall of a pollutant source) and these data were not included here in order to
avoid the presumed bias introduced by targeted site data. Watershed ratings in
Pennsyl
vania and New York are therefore less certain because they are derived from
fewer random/systematic sites.



G. Additional Information (optional)

(35) Please provide any other information about this indicator you believe is necessary to
aid communication

and any prevent potential mis
-
representation.


1. This new map includes additional data

for

985

new random sites available for
averaging across watersheds

as compared to the 2000
-
2008

dataset
.

Most of these sites
were contributed from the Baltimore metr
o region. These urban sites tend to have low B
-
IBI scores, therefore when the results are averaged for the 2000
-
2010 assessment, there
are more sites in the very poor
category and le
ss in excellent, good, and fair categories
than the 2000
-
2008 assessment.




2.
In the 2000
-

20
10

period, Pennsylvania and New York monitoring programs collected
data from many sampling sites identified as “targeted” (such as sites below an outfall of a
pollutant source) and t
hese data were not included in the map averaging
scores across the
watershed

to avoid the presumed bias introduced by targeted site data. Watershed ratings

11

in Pennsylvania and New York are therefore less certain because they are derived from
fewer random/systematic sites.


3
.
This indicator is only one

example of stream health
assessments. Indicators including
water quality and physical in
-
stream and watershed health parameters are also used by
organizations to characterize stream health. See the following
links
information about
other

selected

stream

health assessments produced by CBPO and partners:



http://www.streamhealth.maryland.gov/


http://www.deq.state.va.us/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQual
ityMonitoring/BiologicalMonitoring.aspx


http://www.depweb.state.p
a.us/portal/server.pt/community/water/6008


http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/661.html


http://www.wr.dnrec.delaware.gov/Pages/Default.aspx


http://www.dep.wv.gov/WWE/Pages/default.aspx


http://www.srbc.net/stateofsusq/index.htm



4
. The adhoc

workgroup that guided the development of this improved indicator

deemed
it appropriate for regional assessment
s

of benthic macroinvertebrate

health
. The group
also

identified the following future work
that could be conducted
to improve upon the
indicator
; these tasks include:

• determine the influence of blackwater systems on B
-
IBI scores and potentially having a
blackwater
-
specific scoring approach for affected regions

• explore the effects of targeted vs. random sites on B
-
IBI watershed results

• develo
p a limestone
-
specific scoring approach for affected regions in the Valleys and
possibly the Piedmont (more limestone data would need to be incorporated in order to do
this)

• test the validity of the Coastal Plain index by identifying Reference and Degrad
ed sites
in the coastal plain bioregions

• calculate the trends in the B
-
IBI over time with a subset of the data collected from fixed
locations

• validate the B
-
IBI with new data as it is added to the database

• improve the B
-
IBI performance in the North C
entral Appalachians and the North
Appalachian Plateau and Uplands regions by acquiring new habitat and water quality data
and better identifying Reference and Degraded sites

• further compare the several Coastal Plain indexes that have been developed and
e
valuate if and how they differ when calculated from the same data set




12



References


Astin, L.E. 2006.
Data synthesis and bioindicator development for nontidal streams in

the interstate Potomac River basin,
USA.
Ecological Indicators 6: 664
-
685.


Astin
, L. E. 2007.
Developing biological indicators from diverse data: The Potomac

Basin
-
wide Index of Benthic Integrity (B
-
IBI).
Ecological Indicators 7: 895
-
908.


Buchanan, C., K. Foreman, J. Johnson, and A. Griggs. 2011. Development of a Basin
-
wide Benthic I
ndex of Biotic Integrity for Non
-
Tidal Streams and Wadeable Rivers in the
Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Final Report to the Chesapeake Bay Program Non
-

Tidal Water Quality Workgroup. ICPRB Report 11
-
1. Prepared for the US
Environmental Protection Agency, Chesa
peake Bay Program.


Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay. Strategy for Protecting and
Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Executive Order 13508. May 12, 2010.


Foreman, K., Buchanan, C., Nagel, A., 2008. Development of ecosystem health

indexes
for non
-
tidal wadeable streams and rivers in the Chesapeake Bay basin. Report to the
Chesapeake

Bay Program Non
-
Tidal Water Quality Workgroup. December 5, 2008.


Karr, J.R. 1981. Assessment of biotic integrity using fish communities. Fisheries 6:
21
-
27.


Plafkin, J. L. et al. 1989. Rapid bioassessment protocols for use in streams and rivers:

Benthic macroinvertebrates and fish. EPA/440/4
-
98/001. U.S. Environ
mental

Protection Agency, Office of Water Regulations and Standards, Washington, D. C.


US Environmental Protection Agency
.

1997. Field and laboratory methods for
macroinvertebrate and habitat assessment of low gradient nontidal streams
.

Mid
-
Atlantic
Coastal Streams Workgroup, Environmental Services Division, Region 3, Wheeling,
WV; 23 pages with appendices.


13


Organization
Methodology
Sampling Details
Listing Criteria
Virginia
Rapid Bioassessment Protocol (EPA RBP II
procedures)
Reference and target sampling 2 times/year, random
once/year
Stream Condition Index (SCI) used for
biocriteria, SCI<=60 impaired
West Virginia
Rapid Bioassessment Protocol (EPA RBP II
procedures) Wadeable riffles and runs
Random and targeted sampling on a 5 yr sampling
rotation
Stream Condition Index (SCI) used for
biocriteria, SCI<60.6 impaired
Delaware
Mid-Atlantic Coastal Streams Workgroup
Protocol, modified version of EPA RBP
Sampling in the fall, ~50 sites/year, presently targeted
sampling driven by TMDL investigations, some targeted
sites some random sites
Biological Index (BI) used for biocriteria, BCI
<=66 impaired
Pennsylvania
Rapid Bioasseessment Protocol (EPA RBP III
procedures)
Probabalistic is rotating watersheds. Targeted for
TMDLs and threatened areas.
Index of Biotic Integreity (IBI)
Maryland
Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS)
protocol. 1st-4th order streams.
Random stratified sampling design. Probablistic
sampling via 8 digit HUC sampling unit, 250 sites.
Targeted sites sampled as well.
The IBI is scored on a 1-5 scale with 3 or
greater passing. Maryland estimates the
percentage of degraded stream miles within
each 8-digit watershed (equivalent to HUC 10).
All stations in each watershed are compared to
reference conditions. If degraded stream miles
compose significantly greater than 10 percent,
the watershed is impaired.
SRBC
Project-dependent: RBPIII in PA and Md, mostly;
RBPIII and NYS biomonitoring protocol in NY
Project-dependent: rotating basin surveys every 6
years; yearly sampling at selected sites; most sampling
during baseflow conditions (summer/early fall)
<53% of reference is considered not supporting.
SRBC only lists streams as "Category 3 -
insufficient data" - not as impaired.
Fairfax County
Mid-Atlantic Coastal Streams Workgroup
Protocol, EPA RBP
Random stratified sampling design. Probablistic
sampling of 40 randomly selected sites per year.
Thirteen Reference sites are sampled each year,
eleven piedmont sites and 2 coastal plain sites. Several
trend sites are sampled on a rotating basis.
Sites are scored using an Index of Biotic
Integrity (IBI) and rated on a 0-100 scale. Scale
broken down into Very Poor, Poor, Fair, Good
and Excellent rating categories. Ratings for all
sites are combined to create an overall county
Stream Quality Index (SQI).
Montgomery
County
Modified version of Maryland Biological Stream
Survey (MBSS) protocol
Both targeted and probability-based sampling,
depending on management need. Sites selected in one
of three ways using geographic and stream order
stratification: 1) Reaches are randomly selected and
sites are randomly chosen on the reach. 2) reaches are
targeted and sites are randomly chosen on the reach,
or 3) both reaches and sites are targeted. Baseline sites
are revisited on a 5-year watershed rotational basis.
BIBI scored on a 8-40 scale. 36-40 is Excellent
in channery silt loam ecoregion (35-40 in silt
loam), 26-35 is Good, 17-25 is Fair, 8-16 is
Poor. All stations are scored in comparison to
reference stream conditions.
Prince George's
County
Mid-Atlantic Coastal Streams Workgroup
Protocol, modified version of EPA RBP (same as
MBSS).
Random stratified sampling design. Probablistic
sampling via the County's 41 designated watersheds. 5-
year cycle (1999-2004), approximately 255 sites. Also,
some targeted sites each year and special studies.
Use the MD DNR MBSS IBI. Depending on
date of database the IBI is Stribling et al. 1998
or Southerland et al. 2005.
USFS
Rapid Bioassessment Protocol (EPA RBP II
procedures)
Project-dependent. Reference, inventory and/or target
sampling 1 time a year
MAIS (macroinvertebrate aggregated index for
streams) developed by Voshell. Scores range
from 0-18, with 18 being the best.
New York*
NYS Biomonitoring Rapid Bioassessment
Protocol
RIBS (Rotating Intensive Basin Studies) network
monitoring is conducted in 2-4 watersheds/yr, 5 yr
sampling rotation
Biological Assessment Profile (BAP) averages a
combo of metrics and categorizes the degree of
impaired on a scale of 0 to 10. BAP<=2.5
severely impacted.
*Need updated information, however data not included in 2008 indicator
Table 1. Benthic
Macroinvertebrate sampling details for selected data sources in the Chesapeake Bay B
-
IBI.


14




Table 1 continue
Organization
Type of sampling
What time of year sample
Sampling equipment
Subsample size
Precision estimates of the
methods available?
Sample area
Virginia
Reference, random, and targeted
Spring (April-May) and Fall (September-November)
D-Frame Net 500um
110
10% of samples are
QA/QC'd/yr
100 meter reach, 2 sq.
meter area
West Virginia
Random and targeted
April 15 thru Oct 1
500 um mesh, 0.5 m wide kick net
200 org
yes
From 1996-2001
composited 8 kicks
(0.25 sq. m. each, or 2
square meters), from
2002 to present it
changed to 4 kicks (or 1
sq. meter). Two
approaches tested side-
by-side, no sign.
difference

Delaware
mixed: Targeted, random, reference
Fall, October - November
d-net, 20 1-meter long jabs (

6 m
2
)
100
No calculated precision
estimates but some replicate
data is available.

6
sq
.
meter area
,
100
meter reach
Pennsylvania
Random and Targeted
Freestone: Separate benchmarks for Nov to May and
July to September, generally avoid October and June.
Limestone and Pool/Glide: February to May only, try to
avoid blackfly hatches in pool/glide
D-frame nets
200 organisms except
limestone which is 300
due to lower diversity
All precisons (temporal and
seasonal) are <=to 10 on a 0
to 100 scale.
Freestone: 6 kicks in a
100 meter reach of
prime riffle habitat
Multi-habitiat: Ten D-
frame jabs in five habitat
types over a 100 meter
reach.
Limestone: Two D-frame
kicks due to abundance
of bugs and presence of
material
Maryland
Random and Targeted
March and April
D-net, 540 microns
100
Duplicate samples - 5% of
sites sampled
75 meter reach, 20 sq.
Feet area
SRBC
Targeted
summer/fall
project dependent - d-frame or kick net
200
1 km reach with an area
of 5 sq. meters for large
river projects.
Subbasin/interstate
projects 2 separate
riffles for reach length
and 2 sq. meters
sampled
Fairfax County
Reference, Random and Targeted
March/April
D-frame nets
200
10% of sites re-sampled
100 meter reach
Montgomery
County
Reference, random, and targeted
March 15 to April 30
D-net, 540 microns
100
Some duplicate samples;
10% of sites are replicated
per year.
75 meter reach, 20 sq.
Feet area
Prince George's
County
Random and Targeted
Spring (Mar and Apr). Some early data in Feb.
D-net, 500-micron
100
Duplicate samples, 10% of
probabilistic sites (each year).
100-meter reach. 20-jab
method, each jab aprox.
1-m in length.
USFS
Reference, random, and targeted
Spring (March-May)
Kick Net 500um
200
10% of samples are
QA/QC'd/yr
100 meter reach, 2 sq.
meter area
New York*
*Need updated information, however data not included in 2008 indicator

15