Concurrent Session 3

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2:30 – 3:45 pm
Salon A Salon B Windsor Ballroom
Session Title Ecological Function of Stream Restoration Wetland Hydrology Coastal Ecosystems
Moderator Brian Bledsoe Fouad Jaber Steven Hall
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm (31) Urban Withers – Linking Stream Restoration Success with Watershed, Practice and Design Characteristics (36) Jack Kurki-Fox – The Potential Long-Term Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal Plain Wetlands in North Carolina (41) David Eggleston – Integrating Ecosystem Service Considerations Within a GIS-Based Habitat Suitability Index for Oyster Restoration
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm (32) Jeremy Melton – Comparison of Geomorphic and Habitat Metrics for Functional Lift from Urban Stream Restoration (37) Brock Kamrath – Impact of Control Structures on the Restoration of Wetland Hydrology within the Great Dismal Swamp (42) Steven Hall – Growing Coastal Infrastructure: Sharing the Vision for a Productive and Sustainable Coast
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm (33) John Schwartz – Assessing Functional Lift for Urban Stream Restoration Projects (38) Eric Neuhaus – Assessing the Success of Water Budget Modeling and Reference Wetlands for the Prediction of Wetland Hydrology in Wetland Restoration Sites in North Carolina (43) Samantha Francis – Green Concrete: The Bioreceptivity of Algae-Concrete for Macroinvertabrates, Preferences of False Dark Mussels, and a Lesson in Adaptive Management
3:15 pm – 3:30 pm (34) Sara Donatich – Evaluating the Ecological Function of Restored Streams in Piedmont, North Carolina Using the Stream Quantification Tool (39) Randall Etheridge – Managing Waterfowl Impoundment Hydrology to Provide Habitat and Reduce Nutrient Loss (44) Mauricio Arias – Characterization of Ecosystem Metabolism of Restored Coral in the Florida Keys
3:30 pm – 3:45 pm (35) Barbara Doll – Evaluation of Nutrient Reduction Crediting Strategies for Stream Restoration (40) Tess Thompson – Estimating Flow Through Rock Weirs for Use in Ecological Engineering Design (45) Sudhanshu Panda – Automated Geospatial Model Development for West Indian Manatees Habitat Suitability Analysis and Conservation Decision Support

(31) Linking Stream Restoration Success with Watershed, Practice and Design Characteristics

Presenter: Urban Withers, Virginia Tech,

Co-Authors: Tess Wynn-Thompson, Virginia Tech; Eric Smith, Virginia Tech; W. Cully Hession, Virginia Tech

In the United States, stream restoration is currently a billion-dollar industry (Bernhardt et al., 2005). Though it is commonly used as a method for stream impact mitigation, TMDL crediting, and storm water management, there is little scientific knowledge defending stream restoration as an effective tool for addressing these issues. In particular, few studies have been conducted with the goal of providing recommendations for future design improvements.

To improve stream restoration success rates by advising practitioners and stake holders in site selection and success assessment, 50 stream restoration projects were assessed at the watershed and project levels. Watershed, site, and design characteristics were quantified using ArcGIS and restoration design plans and monitoring reports. Using current literature and expert advice, a stream restoration assessment methodology was developed to assess project success. Statistical analysis was then completed to identify correlation between watershed and project level characteristics and stream restoration success. This presentation will discuss the watershed and practice characteristics used to assess stream restoration projects, the methodology used to determine success, and results of the statistical analysis correlating these variables.

Biography: Urban Withers is a current M.S. student studying Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech under Dr. Tess Wynn-Thompson with a focus in stream restoration.

(32) Comparison of Geomorphic and Habitat Metrics for Functional Lift from Urban Stream Restoration

Presenter: Jeremy Melton, University of Tennessee – Knoxville,

Co-Authors: Dr. John Schwartz, University of Tennessee – Knoxville,

Abstract: Urban watersheds experience a variety of ecosystem stressors including hydromodification and impaired water quality.  Impacts of hydromodification include rapid geomorphic adjustment to the channel and degraded habitat which potentially can affect detrimentally benthic macroinvertebrate and fish communities.  Stream restoration is commonly implemented to resolute damage to these communities.  Because geomorphic metrics define habitat structure they are a necessary component to stream condition and restoration design.  Compensatory mitigation is required by the Clean Water Act for aquatic resource loss, and to ensure mitigation is obtained a functional lift analysis is conducted between the existing condition and the proposed restoration project.  The existing tool used in Tennessee is the Stream Quantification Tool (SQT) and was based on the restoration of non-urban streams relying on geomorphic reference benchmarks. Unknown to date is the potential functional lift that may be achieved in urban streams.  Our research explores the what functional lift is possible in restored urban streams by comparing three site classified streams: urban impaired, urban restored, and reference sites.  All study sites were located in the Ridge and Valley Ecoregion (ER67) located in the eastern portion of Tennessee.  Geomorphic and habitat data will be assessed to quantify the departure from impaired and restored streams from the reference streams.  In doing so, a quantitative measure of the potential functional lift from geomorphic metrics will be achieved.  This analysis is part of a broader study that also examined the biological communities and their relations among the three stream classifications – also quantifying the ecological departure from a reference condition.

Biography: Jeremy Melton is an Environmental Engineering graduate student at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.  His areas of interest include stream and habitat restoration, as well as green infrastructure and stormwater BMPs.  Jeremy’s thesis also involves analyzing the newly implemented TN Stream Quantification Tool (TN SQT).  He and his team were awarded second place at WEFTEC 2018’s Student Design Competition for a stream restoration design completed for the Children’s Defense Fund in Clinton, TN.

(33) Assessing Functional Lift for Urban Stream Restoration Projects

Presenter: John Schwartz, University of Tennessee – Knoxville,

Co-Authors: Brian Alford, PhD, University of Tennessee – Knoxville,; Grant Fisher, University of Tennessee – Knoxville,; Jeremy Melton, University of Tennessee – Knoxville,

Abstract: Ecological improvement from stream restoration projects particularly in urban watersheds have had mixed results.  There are several possible reasons for the limited improvements including 1) inadequate ecological design criteria based on recolonization potential and habitat requirements determined by functional traits expression 2) pre- and post-monitoring assessment methods, 3) the biological assemblage chosen for the bioassessment, and 4) lack of a watershed-scale stressor analysis and adequate project scoping and prioritization.  The 2015 document Tennessee Integrated Assessment of Watershed Health (TIAWH): A Report on the Status and Vulnerability of Watershed Health provides the watershed-scale analysis for project prioritization; however. for stream restoration design additional ecological information is needed particularly in urban streams.  In addition, there is a critical need to better understand ecological responses to restoration in order to improve on design strategies, and assign restoration mitigation credits.  Two research study goals are proposed: 1) collect geomorphic, habitat, and biological data urban restoration projects, and urban unrestored and reference stream sites, and analyze and compare functional lift per the state’s stream quantification tool to better understand ecological impairment processes in urban streams; and 2) integrate a functional traits analysis methodology with the TIAWH Report to improve ecological design criteria for stream restoration particularly in urban watersheds.  Site data were collected from twelve streams, four stream sites for each condition classification (urban unrestored, urban restored, and ecoregion reference).  Results demonstrate in urban streams not all field-measured condition metrics discriminate functional lift, and the functional lift quantitative tool could be improved reflecting the metrics that do discriminate between the three conditional stream classes noted above.

Biography: Dr. John Schwartz is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Director of the Tennessee Water Resources Research Center.  His academic history includes a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign (2002), a MS in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University (1991), and a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia (1982).  My research program in water resources over the past 15 years at the University of Tennessee has focused on the assessment of stressed natural systems through investigations of altered physical, chemical, and biological processes that lead to degraded water quality and stream ecosystems, and the development of improved restoration approaches in human-dominated watersheds.

(34) Evaluating the Ecological Function of Restored Streams in Piedmont, North Carolina Using the Stream Quantification Tool

Presenter: Sara Donatich, North Carolina State University,

Co-Authors: Barbara A. Doll, North Carolina State University and NC Sea Grant,; Jonathan L. Page, North Carolina State University,

Abstract: The Stream Quantification Tool (SQT), a rapid assessment and spreadsheet tool that quantifies stream function, was developed succeeding 2008 updates to federal compensatory mitigation rules to address the lack of method to evaluate stream function using function-based objective and verifiable performance standards. The SQT is an application of the Stream Functions Pyramid (Harman et al., 2012), which asserts that stream functions are interrelated and build on each other in a specific order, in which hydrologic processes are depicted as the fundamental support for hydraulic, geomorphic, physicochemical, and biological processes. To test the pyramid framework and the ability of the SQT (3.0) developed for NC to accurately detect and quantify stream function, a functional assessment was conducted on 19 reference-quality streams and six paired restored and degraded streams in Piedmont, NC. Natural variability of conditions for reference-quality reaches within the NC Piedmont region were documented and compared to the SQT’s performance standards. Restoration success of the paired restored and degraded reaches was evaluated using the SQT. Multivariate statistics and regression analysis were performed to compare stream function relationships asserted by the pyramid framework to reference conditions. Multivariate relationships between function variables and biological condition were evaluated to generate significance weights for each variable to ensure the SQT places higher significance on variables that support healthy biota. Findings will influence adoption of the SQT by the NC Division of Mitigation Services to award function-based credits.

Biography: Sara Donatich, originally from Long Island, NY, is pursuing her Master of Science in Ecological Engineering from NC State University under the advisement of Dr. Barbara Doll. Prior to NC State, she worked on wetland and riparian restoration projects for the Natural Areas Conservancy, a non-profit partner of NYC Parks and Recreation, and performed environmental investigations on properties throughout NYC for Langan Engineering. Sara received her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Barnard College of Columbia University in 2013.

(35) Evaluation of Nutrient Reduction Crediting Strategies for Stream Restoration

Presenter: Barbara Doll, NC Sea Grant and NC State University Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department,

Co-Authors: Jeffrey Johnson, NC State University,; Jonathan Page, NC State University,

Abstract: As the stream restoration field is currently a $1 billion/yr industry and growing, interest in providing nutrient credits in addition to mitigation credits has been introduced in some states. The Chesapeake Bay Expert Panel first introduced a protocol for awarding nutrient credits for stream restoration efforts 2013. The NC Division of Water Resources (DWR) is currently considering adopting similar voluntary credits that borrow heavily from the current Chesapeake Bay Protocol (CBP). The credit considers three potential nutrient credit elements for stream restoration projects including (1) prevented sediment during storm flow, (2) instream denitrification during base flow and (3) floodplain reconnection.

NC Sea Grant and NC State University conducted a review of the draft standards and tested the proposed nutrient credit calculation methods on four case study restoration projects in order to: 1) quantify the level of effort necessary to prepare nutrient credit estimates, 2) identify opportunities to address shortcomings and simplify the proposed credit standards and 3) where appropriate, develop modified nutrient credit standards for improving application and accuracy of reduction estimates. In addition, USGS gage station data analysis was conducted at five streams to evaluate relationships in channel size, hydrology, watershed size and floodplain flow frequency. In addition, a flood flow frequency analysis was performed to compare observed hydrologic connectivity to floodplains to estimated connectivity as prescribed by the CBP protocol 3. USGS gage data from 5 streams was analyzed and load reductions were computed using water quality data provided by local sources.

Based on the findings of this study, potential revisions to the CBP were recommended. This presentation will outline the results of this study and the proposed credit modifications.

Biography: Barbara Doll is an Extension Specialist for North Carolina Sea Grant and an Extension Assistant Professor in the Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department at NC State University Barbara holds a Ph.D. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering and is a licensed professional engineer who joined Sea Grant in 1992 to work on water quality issues. Much of Barbara’s current research and outreach focuses on ecological restoration, reducing the impacts of nonpoint source pollution and assessing the effectiveness of restoration practices. She has developed and implemented several innovative stream restoration projects including the multi-million dollar, three-phase project to restore Rocky Branch, a creek that runs a mile through the North Carolina State University campus and is a tributary to the Neuse River. Barbara currently serves as the principal investigator for more than $1.2 million in grant funding which supports outreach and research projects focused on evaluating the performance of stream restoration efforts, developing new techniques for ecological restoration, stormwater management and assisting communities with water quantity and quality challenges. She manages a team of engineers and graduate students who are funded by these projects. Barbara has authored a number of publications on stream restoration and stormwater runoff, including publishing in professional journals such as the Journal of the American Water Resources Association and WATER.

(36) The Potential Long-Term Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal Plain Wetlands in North Carolina

Presenter: Jack Kurki-Fox, Ph.D., North Carolina State University,

Co-Authors: Michael R. Burchell II, North Carolina State University,; Brock Kamrath, North Carolina State University,

Abstract: Wetlands are especially at risk due to climate change because of their intermediate landscape position, where small changes in precipitation and/or evapotranspiration can have substantial impacts on wetland hydrology. Because hydrology is the primary factor influencing wetland structure and function, the important ecosystem services wetlands provide may be altered or lost as a result of climate change. The objective of this project was to determine the range of possible impacts of climate change on the hydrologic regimes of non-riverine Coastal Plain wetlands in North Carolina.

DRAINMOD models were calibrated and validated for two minimally disturbed, natural wetland sites in the coastal plain of North Carolina using observed water table and local weather data. Downscaled climate projections for daily temperature and precipitation were obtained from the Bureau of Reclamation.  Two representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios were evaluated: RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Model simulations were run from 1986-2099, and outputs were evaluated by comparing results between the base period (1986-2015) and two future periods: 2040-2069 and 2070-2099. The model simulation results indicate projected mean water table declines of 25-75 cm by the end of this century (2070-2099) for the RCP8.5 (high-end) scenario and declines of 20-40 cm for the RCP4.5 (mid-range) scenario. These results provide an overview of the potential impacts of climate change on North Carolina wetlands, and provide a range of scenarios to inform and guide possible changes to water management strategies in wetland ecosystems to limit the loss of ecosystem services over the long-term.

Biography: Jack Kurki-Fox, Ph.D. is a recent graduate of the North Carolina State University Biological and Agricultural Engineering program. He is now a Research Associate in the North Carolina State University Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department. His current focuses are wetland restoration and stream restoration.

(37) Impact of Control Structures on the Restoration of Wetland Hydrology within the Great Dismal Swamp

Presenter: Brock Kamrath, North Carolina State University,

Co-Authors: Michael R. Burchell II, North Carolina State University,; Jack Kurki-Fox, North Carolina State University,

Abstract: The Great Dismal Swamp (GDS) is a 45,000-ha state and federally protected Coastal Plain peatland located on the border of North Carolina and Virginia.  Drainage and logging over the past centuries have significantly altered the hydrology of the GDS, which has negatively affected its ecosystem structure and function.  With the goal to restore wetland hydrology to portions of the swamp, NC State Parks and NC State University collaborated to install adjustable water control structures (WCS) at strategic locations within existing drainage ditches.

The objective of this study was to determine if the hydropatterns of two target restoration blocks have become comparable to nearby reference sites following the installation of the WCSs.  Water level data was collected for three years prior to WCS installation (pre-WCS) and three years after WCS installation (Post-WCS) using monitoring wells and water level data loggers.  The comparison of water level data from the pre and post periods using empirical cumulative distribution functions (ECDFs) indicated wetter conditions within the target restoration blocks relative to the nearby reference wetlands following installation of the WCSs.  A more traditional Paired Before-After Control-Impact (BACIP) statistical analysis was also conducted.  The BACIP analysis showed the monthly mean water levels in the target restorations blocks were significantly different from those in nearby reference wetlands prior to WCS installation and not significantly different after WCS installation.  It is anticipated that the restoration of wetland hydrology will help prevent further ecosystem degradation and aid the effort to restore target forest communities within the swamp by reducing fire susceptibility, preventing peat oxidation, maintaining carbon storage, and reducing non-target vegetation competition.

Biography: Brock Kamrath is currently a PhD. student at NC State University in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering program.  His research is focused on the restoration and creation of wetlands and their efficacy, as engineered systems, to provide water quality improvement.

(38) Assessing the Success of Water Budget Modeling and Reference Wetlands for the Prediction of Wetland Hydrology in Wetland Restoration Sites in North Carolina

Presenter: Eric Neuhaus, Wildlands Engineering, Inc.,

Co-Authors: Kirsten Gimbert, Wildlands Engineering,; Jeff Keaton, Wildlands Engineering,; John Hutton, Wildlands Engineering,

Abstract: Many of the complex interactions that occur in wetlands are dictated by the hydrology. For wetland mitigation to be successful, accurate hydrology needs to be restored to reproduce high functioning ecological systems. Wetlands need to experience fluctuating hydroperiods with times of saturation and drawdown. To estimate how stream and wetland restoration designs will affect the hydrology and hydroperiod of proposed projects, modeling techniques and the use of reference wetland hydrology data have been utilized.

This study compares wetland reference hydrology, modeling results of predicted hydrology, and corresponding monitoring data for multiple wetland restoration sites in North Carolina.  The Lyle Creek Stream & Wetland Mitigation Project improved 9.5 acres of wetlands on an active tree farm located in the headwaters of Lyle Creek in rural Catawba County, NC. The Little Troublesome Creek Mitigation Project restored 18.0 acres of wetlands in Rockingham County, NC. The Underwood Mitigation Project in northwestern Chatham County, NC restored and created a total of 13.8 acres of riparian wetlands and restored and enhanced 1.5 acres of non-riparian wetlands. The Owl’s Den Stream and Wetland Mitigation Project restored approximately 10.0 acres of riparian wetlands in Lincoln County, NC. The Henry Fork Mitigation Site restored approximately 4.0 acres of riparian wetlands in Catawba County, NC. DRAINMOD, as well as reference wetland hydrology data was used on all the above sites to predict how construction of the project would improve site hydrology.

Biography: Mr. Neuhaus serves as a water resources engineer and project manager for Wildlands Engineering in the Asheville, NC office. He has eight years of experience working on a variety of projects including stream and wetland restoration, stormwater management, erosion and sediment control, hydrologic modeling, and groundwater modeling. Mr. Neuhaus’ duties include project management, assistant project management, field data collection, site analysis, design development, preparation of construction plans, earthwork estimation, and construction administration. He also provides hydrologic modeling, water budget analysis, preliminary site evaluation, and design for wetland restoration projects.

(39) Managing Waterfowl Impoundment Hydrology to Provide Habitat and Reduce Nutrient Loss

Presenter: Randall Etheridge, East Carolina University,

Co-Authors: Brian Hinckley, East Carolina University,; Trey Mason, East Carolina University,; Ariane Peralta, East Carolina University,

Abstract: Hydrologic management intended to promote one ecosystem function can result in unintended consequences. For example, water levels are managed through seasonal drawdown and flooding for the growth of specific vegetation to attract waterfowl in moist soil managed (MSM) waterfowl impoundments.  In contrast to these managed wetlands, agricultural (Ag) waterfowl impoundments are managed for row crop production during the growing season and double as waterfowl habitat during winter waterfowl migration.  To attract waterfowl, both types of impoundments are flooded in the late fall and water is held in the systems into the spring.  Residence time is often the design factor that is considered the most important when using wetlands to retain nitrogen.  In the case of waterfowl impoundments, a residence time of months combined with large inputs of waterfowl waste promotes nitrogen export.  Before a solution could be developed to reduce the loading to downstream ecosystems, the factors controlling the nitrate, ammonium, and organic nitrogen dynamics had to be identified.  To better understand these factors, we combined 21 months of field monitoring of nitrogen concentrations at a high frequency (30-min) with seasonal soil core sampling.  We measured potential nitrification, denitrification, and nitrogen mineralization rates and soil physiochemical properties for each soil core.  In this study, the high organic nitrogen inputs by waterfowl during winter months combined with seasonal flooding resulted in high ammonium concentrations. This result was punctuated when specific conditions, such as anoxic conditions, inhibited nitrification rates. Taken together, monitoring seasonal N dynamics and measuring potential N process rates revealed opportunities to manage wetland hydrology to benefit waterfowl habitat and nitrogen retention.

Biography: Randall Etheridge is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering and the Center for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering at East Carolina University (ECU).  Prior to joining ECU, he served as an agricultural engineer with the Southwest Florida Water Management District.  In addition to leading the environmental engineering concentration at ECU, his work focuses on helping communities in eastern North Carolina address water quantity and quality issues.  He received his PhD and BS in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University.

(40) Estimating Flow Through Rock Weirs for Use in Ecological Engineering Design

Presenter: Tess Thompson, Virginia Tech,

Co-Authors: Suraye Solis, Wildlands Engineering, Inc.,

Abstract: Rock weirs are ubiquitous in ecological engineering design. By appearing more natural, rock weirs are preferred for use as hydraulic control structures in river engineering, stormwater management control structures, and mitigation wetlands. Although rock weirs are commonly used, few stage-discharge relationships for these structures exist. Consequently, designers often utilize the broad-crested weir equation and weir coefficients. However, the porosity and irregular crest of rock weirs result in discrepancy between the predicted discharge (obtained using broad-crested weir assumptions) and actual discharge. Therefore, a weir equation and coefficients that better predict discharge are needed to improve the design and implementation of rock weirs. The overall goal of this research is to determine a weir equation and corresponding discharge coefficients to predict flow through rock weirs. A flume study was conducted using Froude-scaled model rock weirs in a 1 m x 8 m x 0.4 m recirculating flume and the data were fit to standard weir equations to determine the coefficient and exponent for the weir equation. Results of this research are broadly applicable for engineering design in stream and wetlands restoration, as well as stormwater management.

Biography: Dr. Theresa “Tess” Thompson is an associate professor in Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech and a Turner Fellow of Engineering.  Her research in watershed management focuses on stream and wetland restoration, urban stream systems, and streambank erosion.  A former president of the American Ecological Engineering Society, she currently serves as vice-chair of the River Restoration Technical Committee of ASCE-EWRI, as a member of the Chesapeake Bay Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, and on the advisory board for the International Ecological Engineering Society.

(41) Integrating Ecosystem Service Considerations Within a GIS-Based Habitat Suitability Index for Oyster Restoration

Presenter: David Eggleston, North Carolina State University/CMAST,

Co-Authors: Seth Theuerkauf, NC State University, Center for Marine Sciences & Technology,; Brandon Puckett, NC State University, Center for Marine Sciences & Technology,

Abstract: Geospatial habitat suitability index (HSI) models have emerged as powerful tools that integrate pertinent spatial information to guide habitat restoration efforts, yet have rarely accounted for spatial variation in ecosystem service provision. In this study, satellite-derived chlorophyll a concentrations for Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA were applied in conjunction with data on water flow velocities and dissolved oxygen concentrations to identify potential restoration locations that would maximize the oyster reef-associated ecosystem service of water filtration. These water quality services were integrated within an existing ‘Metapopulation Persistence’, GIS-based HSI model containing biophysical (e.g., salinity, oyster larval connectivity) and logistical (e.g., distance to nearest restoration material stockpile site) factors to identify suitable locations for oyster restoration that maximize long-term persistence of restored oyster populations and water filtration ecosystem service provision. We compared the ‘Water Filtration’ optimized HSI with the HSI optimized for ‘Metapopulation Persistence,’ as well as a hybrid model that optimized for both water filtration and metapopulation persistence. This approach identified optimal restoration locations (i.e., locations corresponding to the top 1% of suitability scores) that were consistent among the three HSI scenarios (i.e., “win-win” locations), as well as optimal locations unique to a given HSI scenario (i.e., “tradeoff” locations). The modeling framework used in this study can provide guidance to restoration practitioners to maximize the cost-efficiency and ecosystem services value of habitat restoration efforts. Furthermore, the functional relationships between oyster water filtration and chlorophyll a concentrations, water flow velocities, and dissolved oxygen developed in this study can guide field- and lab-testing of hypotheses related to optimal conditions for oyster reef restoration to maximize water quality enhancement benefits.

Biography: Dr. David Eggleston is an Alumni Distinguished Professor at NC State University, and also serves as Director of NC State’s marine laboratory, the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST), located in Morehead City, North Carolina.  He leads the Marine Ecology and Conservation program at NC State University, which emphasizes testing and refining general ecological theory and concepts in marine systems with the goal that answers will: (1) make important contributions to our understanding of ecological patterns and processes in marine ecosystems, and (2) be applied to sustainable management of natural resources and coastal communities. Research topics span fisheries ecology, habitat restoration, conservation biology, deep sea biology, detecting ecological impacts, behavioral ecology, population dynamics and modeling, and marine science education.  Eggleston serves on the advisory boards of state, national and international coastal and marine science organizations. He has been recognized for excellence in research by the National Science Foundation via an Early Career Award, excellence in outreach via an Outstanding Extension Service Award by NC State University, and is a member of the NC Academy of Outstanding Teachers.  He loves scuba-diving, boating, fishing, and playing drums in local bands.

(42) Growing Coastal Infrastructure: Sharing the Vision for a Productive and Sustainable Coast

Presenter: Steven Hall, North Carolina State University, Biological and Agricultural Engineering,

Co-Authors: Matthew Campbell, Tyler Ortego, Robert Beine, Leonard Nelson

Abstract: We are in a time of transitions: from nonrenewable fossil fuels and materials to renewable materials; from a growing population to a stable or declining population; from a tribal world to a global world.  How we handle these transitions will determine the health of these transitions.  Simply being against hunger or war will not necessarily avoid them; active, creative solutions are needed.  In the coastal realm, impacts of climate change, including larger and possibly more frequent coastal storms; coupled with sea level changes are already having significant impacts.  Meanwhile, increased development and populations are further exacerbating the stresses in coastal zones.  In rich areas, hard structures such as seawalls have been constructed, but exact an unsustainable price on both the ecosystem and the budget.  In less developed regions, the impacts are often even more tragic, with loss of homes, livelihoods and lives.  One creative alternative is to grow sustainable coastal infrastructure that reduces cost (and materials) by one or more orders of magnitude; while providing coastal protection, habitat and related ecological services.  This group has been working in this area for almost two decades and has a number of patents, publications and emplacements in a number of coastal locations.  Recently, a patent was issued for a novel 3D printer that will enable further development of low density, customized biofriendly concrete structural frameworks that encourage natural growth of oysters, mussels and other organisms in customized reefs.  This talk will discuss both the technology and recent work to share this in both traditional educational (classroom); extension; and research venues; and creative ways to share from social media to Comicon to entrepreneurial Senior design.  We look forward to the chance to share the vision of our small contribution toward a transition to a more sustainable coast and future.

Biography: Steven Hall is Director of the Marine Aquaculture Research Center at North Carolina State University; and Editor of Aquacultural Engineering.  His PhD is from Cornell University; MS from UC Davis; and Postdoc from McGill University. His interests focus on sustainable resource engineering in the aquatic environment.  He was Assistant, Associate and Full Professor and Graduate Chair in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at LSU, where he retains adjunct status; has served on the faculty at the Au Sable Institute; and joined the BAE Department at NCSU in 2016.  He has teaching, research and extension appointments and works throughout North Carolina and around the world, with past present and future collaborations on multiple continents, all focused on finding ways to enhance both productivity and sustainability in aquatic systems; and to share findings and encourage others to contribute to transitioning to a sustainable future.

(43) Green Concrete: The Bioreceptivity of Algae-Concrete for Macroinvertabrates, Preferences of False Dark Mussels, and a Lesson in Adaptive Management

Presenter: Samantha Francis, Ohio State University,

Co-Authors: Dr. Patrick Kangas, University of Maryland; Dr. Peter May, University of Maryland; Ms. Evelyn Tickle, James Madison University

Abstract: For centuries, humans have utilized artificial reefs as a means of increasing marine biodiversity in areas where we have found it lacking. As dredging, coastline development, and ocean acidification destroy natural environments, artificial reefs may eventually be the only option for critters that used to rely on oyster and coral reefs for habitat. As such, it is pertinent that humans take the opportunity– while we still have time– to understand what the best options are to create the most hospitable environmental for underwater colonizers, especially those that perform critical functions like water filtration. This presentation will review a yearlong study that compared the colonization of Ordinary Portland Cement, a patent-pending CaCO3 concrete, and these concretes containing 50% algae by dried volume. Sixty disks of each substrate (6.5cm tall, 10cm in diameter) were hung at three different depths off of a bulkhead outside the Baltimore Aquarium. Twenty samples of each substrate type were collected every three months for a year and were analyzed for macroinvertabrate colonization. This will provide insight to determine what affect substrate type has on colonization and to decide whether concrete is a viable option for carbon-sequestration (in the form of algae). At the same time, the temporal and spatial elements of this study offer an excellent opportunity to look at the interactions and life cycles of the little-studied false dark mussel and barnacles that settled on the samples, both of which are important filter feeders in the eutrophied Chesapeake Bay. The confluence of these ideas will inform listeners about 1) the effect of substrate-type on colonization; 2) some of the habitat preferences and the interspecific relationships between false dark mussels and barnacles; 3) a lesson in adapting to and taking advantage of opportunities offered by mesocosm-scale research.

Biography: Samantha Francis began her research on the bioreceptivity of algae-concrete her Junior year at the University of Maryland, College Park with the help of her advisors, Dr. Patrick Kangas, Dr. Peter May, and Ms. Evelyn Tickle. Graduating with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Technology in 2018, she has used the last year to continue her research in her free time before she starts her M.S. at Ohio State University’s Department of Food, Agriculture and Biological Engineering in the fall of 2019. There, she will be working with Dr. Jay Martin on a USDA-NIFA, Public-Private Partnership project to identify fields with elevated nutrient levels where management practices will be installed and monitored in an effort to reduce nutrient runoff.

(44) Characterization of Ecosystem Metabolism of Restored Coral in the Florida Keys

Presenter: Mauricio Arias, University of South Florida,; Michelle Platz, University of South Florida

Co-Authors: Michelle Platz, University of South Florida

Abstract: In response to worldwide stony coral population declines, coral restoration programs have formed to culture robust corals and repopulate denuded reefs. Little restoration site monitoring is occurring however, as such efforts are limited by time-consuming and expensive methods involving sporadic field surveys by divers. This study hypothesizes that in-situ, continuous monitoring technology can be implemented within coral restoration practices to inform management decisions through the provision of high-resolution monitoring information and the development of engineered restoration site models. To the knowledge of the authors, this study represents the first attempt to continuously monitor coral metabolism specifically within a coral nursery and at restoration sites using in-situ sensors. Metabolism, one of the defining characteristics of life, is the process by which organisms take up nutrients, extract energy, and form new cell materials. Coral metabolism includes net community production (NCP), including respiration and photosynthesis, and net community calcification (NCC), including calcification and dissolution. Previous metabolism studies on natural reefs observed metabolic patterns to be reflective of visual benthic community composition, which restoration practitioners use to assess coral success, therefore, changes in NCP and NCC over time can be used as indicators of coral health and functionality at restoration sites. Using the gradient flux approach and the Benthic Ecosystem and Acidification Measurement System (BEAMS), this study aims to increase coral restoration efficiency through the provision of reliable and continuous monitoring feedback within nurseries and at restoration sites throughout the Florida Keys. Target research outcomes include understanding how metabolism measurements using technology compare with those made using traditional measurement techniques, how high-resolution information can be used to understand relationships between coral metabolism and current velocity, how restoration site benthic models could be used as a restoration-site selection tool, and how monitoring methods using technology could be made more available to the restoration community.

Biographies: Mauricio Arias is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. He moved back to Florida in summer of 2016 after completing a Post-doctoral research fellowship in the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University in 2014-2016.  His research aims at creating science-based linkages between the hydrological cycle, ecosystems, and society in order to promote sustainable management of water resources. He has studied hydrological, ecological, and sustainability issues in freshwater ecosystems around the world, primarily in Southeast Asia (Mekong), Brazil (Amazon) and Florida. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Engineering in Environmental Engineering Sciences from the University of Florida, and a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

As a participant in the Professional Practice Program at the University of Cincinnati, Michelle explored applications of the engineering profession, from facility engineering to hydrologic modeling and ecological research on methane emissions. Throughout her undergraduate education, Michelle discovered a love of research and a deep passion for marine ecosystems. Michelle completed a BS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in the spring of 2017. Michelle seeks to pursue research investigating ecological engineering methods to restore coral reefs and protect the ecosystem services they provide. Michelle is a recipient of a NSF Graduate Fellowship.

(45) Automated Geospatial Model Development for West Indian Manatees Habitat Suitability Analysis and Conservation Decision Support

Presenter: Sudhanshu Panda, Institute of Environmental Spatial Analysis (IESA), University of North Georgia (UNG),

Co-Authors: Jeffery Robertson, IESA, UNG; Ashleigh Wilson, Biology, UNG; and Jeff Turk, Director & Professor of Engineering, IESA, UNG

Abstract: West Indian Manatees in the Florida coast are being severely affected by major hazards like boating collisions, red tide outbreaks, depletion in seagrass availability, and cold stress. Conservation by government and public together is required to safeguard its population decline from the consequence of latest climate change impact and other human induced hazards. The objective of this study is to develop an automated geospatial model to analyze all relevant features responsible for the West Indian Manatee habitat suitability analysis and suggest proper decision support on its conservation. This study is completed on the western coat (Gulf of Mexico) of Florida. Geospatial data such as historical boating collison record, marina site locations, population, landuse (crop cover that uses chemical harmful to manatees), bathymetry information (determining easy passage for manatees without getting hit by boat anchors, etc.), red tide spatial distribution, climate change related sea and atmospheric temperature, and availability of seagrass, the major food source of manatees. Geospatial data were preprocess on ArcGIS ModelBuilder platform to create manatee habitat suitability analysis related contributing factor rasters. These rasters were multiplied with weights (percentage contribution to the whole system), prepared as a Delphi-based analysis method. ‘Weighted Sum’ tool in ArcGIS, combined all factors to provide the suitable habitat location for West Indian Manatee habitat on a scale of high-moderate-low. Present conservation location data of the State of Florida were obtained and analyzed to find the spatial location that need to be conserved to safeguard the manatees. The critical areas not already safeguarded are proposed to the Fish and Wildlife Department for consideration in the creation of new protected habitats. This suitability analysis allows West Indian Manatee populations room for future growth. This automated model process can be applied for other aquatic animal habitat suitability analyses and conservation decision support system development.

Biography: Dr. Sudhanshu Panda is a professional engineer, who specializes in soil and water engineering, precision agriculture/site specific crop management, and geospatial technology and its application in sustainable ecological/environmental management. He is working as a professor of GIS & Environmental Science in the Institute of Environmental Spatial Analysis at University of North Georgia. He received his PhD in Engineering from the Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering program of North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA and earned his M.Eng. degree in Environmental Remote Sensing for Geoinformation Development from the School of Space Technology Application Research of Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand. He has his B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology, Bhubaneswar, India. Dr. Panda has the unique experience of working in all three platforms of professional career, i.e., government field engineer, engineer in multi-national engineering consulting company, and academic with teaching and research in universities. His researches are in the field of bioenergy production, global warming and climate change, water resources/watershed management, precision agriculture, site specific crop management, forest management, animal health management, sustainable biodiversity management with geospatial technology and artificial neural network applications. Dr. Panda is a prolific modeler- developing models with ArcGIS ModelBuilder along with in statistics and artificial neural networks platform. He is a software developer with Visual Basics Studio and Python for environmental management decision support system development along with a strong expertise on WebGIS site development.