Concurrent Session 2

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1:00 – 2:15 pm
CONCURRENT SESSION 2
Salon A Salon B Windsor Ballroom
Session Title Stream Corridor Restoration I Constructed Wetlands Stormwater & Green Infrastructure I
Moderator Greg Jennings Dawn Reinhold Andrea Ludwig
1:00 pm – 1:15 pm (16) Maddie  Berg – Urban Stream Restoration: An Evaluation of Conveyance and Material Processing Channels (21) Allison Lewis – The 4G Ranch Wetlands: Operating for Our Future (26) David Wituszynski – Monitoring Bird and Insect Communities Within a Large-Scale Bioretention Project: Year 2
1:15 pm – 1:30 pm (17) Dan Sweet – Emerging Concepts in River Restoration Design and their Application and Adaptation to Headwater Stream Restoration Projects in the Southeast (22) Bingbing Jiang – Nutrient Retention in the First Full Year by a Wetlaculture Mesocosm System in the Former Great Black Swamp Upstream of the Highly Eutrophic Western Lake Erie (27) Jenifer McIntyre – The Biological Effectiveness of Green Stormwater Infrastructure for Aquatic Toxicity
1:30 pm – 1:45 pm (18) Chris Streb – Stream Restoration Using All Wood Structures (23) Matt Huddleston – Savannah River Site’s A-01 Constructed Wetland System: A Model for Sustainable Ecological Risk Mitigation (28) Jillian Sarazen – Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal in Bioretention Cells Receiving Agricultural Runoff from a Dairy Farm in South Burlington, VT
1:45 pm – 2:00 pm (19) Greg Jennings – Who Gives a Dam? Removing Barriers to Aquatic Organism Passage One Step at a Time (24) Natasha Bell – Potential of Floating Treatment Wetlands to Manage Phytophthora Species in Agricultural Runoff and Drainage (29) James Bays – Optimizing Green Infrastructure Performance: Case Studies of Los Angeles Wetlands
2:00 pm – 2:15 pm (20) Andy Brown – The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts’ – Aristotle (25) Johel Venegas Castillo – Determination of the Parameters of a System of Artifical Wetlands of Vertical Subsuperficial Flow for the Optimations of the Design of Models of Black Box Under Tropical Conditions CANCELLED (30) Trisha Moore – The Role of Trees as Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Digging into the Data

(16) Urban Stream Restoration: An Evaluation of Conveyance and Material Processing Channels

Presenter: Maddie Berg, James Madison University & Stantec, mber2223@gmail.com

Abstract: Due to the recent interest in stream restoration to help the Chesapeake Bay, this study was undertaken to evaluate the in-stream effectiveness of two restoration practices: conveyance channels and material processing channels. Ten streams, five of each restoration practice, were evaluated in terms of organic retention and macroinvertebrates. The upper and lower reaches of each stream were sampled with transects to measure organic retention percent cover and sampled with two methods for macroinvertebrates. Despite each site being evaluated only once during the summer of 2018, which was the highest rainfall on record in Maryland, trends were still apparent. Material processing channels had significantly higher organic retention compared to conveyance, as they had a larger average hydraulic radius and a greater presence of woody debris. Focusing on macroinvertebrate sampling methods, traditional kick-net sampling compared to novel habitube sampling collected similar species richness. Abundance varied greatly, though habitubes collected higher average abundance compared to traditional sampling. Results from this study suggest that urban stream restoration practices can impact organic retention within streams as well as the ability to provide the best habitat for in-stream biota. When designing streams to reduce downstream impacts, material processing channels should be considered as they retain organic matter and work to provide habitat potential. Due to similar species richness collections across all reaches, habitubes have the potential to be a valid future sampling technique. This, or a similar study, should be continued over multiple years through different seasons to see if the trends persist or get stronger as the site ages.

Biography: Bachelor of Science obtained from California University of Pennsylvania (Spring 2017) after studying environmental science. Currently wrapping up a biology Master’s at James Madison University (Spring 2019), with a thesis focused on urban stream restoration (an evaluation of conveyance and material processing channels). After graduation (May 2019) I will working at Stantec as an environmental scientist.


(17) Emerging Concepts in River Restoration Design and their Application and Adaptation to Headwater Stream Restoration Projects in the Southeast

Presenter: Dan Sweet, RES, dsweet@res.us

Abstract: Emerging Concepts in River Restoration Design and their Application and Adaptation to Headwater Stream Restoration Projects in the Southeast

River Restoration is a rapidly evolving multidisciplinary practice that has seen significant developments in recent decades including emphasis on both floodplain and base flow channel integration. Despite this progression, the field is still dominated by the implementation of single thread bankfull transport channels with an emphasis on geomorphic stability.

Emerging concepts in river restoration include recognition and incorporation of biotic drivers such as vegetation, wood, and beaver ecology. In conjunction, there is growing emphasis on anastomosing or anabranching stream types. Concepts such as stage zero, which is both a channel evolution model (CEM) and an implementation approach, river discontinuum theory, process-based restoration, string and bead theory, stream evolution corridors (SEC), and beaver dam analogs (BDAs) are increasingly put forth in published literature and are making their way into project implementation in the Pacific Northwest and the Colorado Front Range.

These principles and practices are still largely absent in east coast projects. This presentation reviews the literature and theory behind these emerging concepts and provides case studies of several large headwater stream mitigation projects in the Southeast where these practices are being adapted and applied. Implications for climate resilience both in terms of carbon sequestration and water table/baseflow augmentation are also discussed.

Biography: Dan Sweet is a stream restoration practitioner with 20 years of experience working primarily on headwater streams in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Dan is fortunate to have developed a childhood past time building dams in creeks to catch crayfish into a fulfilling career playing in the river.


(18) Stream Restoration Using All Wood Structures

Presenter: Chris Streb, Biohabitats, cstreb@biohabitats.com

Co-Authors: Doug Streaker

Abstract: The use of wood in stream restoration structures is a logical refinement of stream restoration techniques in the Mid-Atlantic.  Wood is a natural renewable resource, is less costly than the current preferred building material, and is a common feature in stream stability.  With few exceptions in stream restoration in the Mid-Atlantic, wood has played a secondary role to rock in bed and bank stability design.  Adding wood to riffle features to improve their habitat quality, using buried wood as a bank stabilization and habitat improvement feature, using rootwads to attenuate velocities and improve bank cover are all highly valued applications of wood in stream restoration.  In general, rock weir features and boulder walls are the designers ‘go to’ solutions in high flow conditions.  We will describe a recently completed project in Anne Arundel County that uses driven pile and engineered wood structures to restore ~4100-ft of headwater stream.  We will discuss design, regulatory, and construction elements and provide a roadmap for designers and contractors interested in considering the increased reliance on wood structures in their stream restoration designs.


(19) Who Gives a Dam? Removing Barriers to Aquatic Organism Passage One Step at a Time

Presenter: Greg Jennings, Jennings Environmental PLLC, greg@jenningsenv.com

Abstract: Connectivity is a fundamental requirement for optimal stream function.  Barriers to aquatic organism passage (AOP) are often associated with impoundments, road crossings, and utility crossings.  Ecological impacts of these structures include habitat loss in the channel and floodplain, excessive erosion and sedimentation due to hydraulic adjustments, and changes to the natural fluvial sediment transport regime.  Remediation measures may include complete structure removal and restoration of the natural ecosystem or a combination of engineering practices to improve stream conditions while maintaining infrastructure functions.  This presentation reviews several case study projects that successfully implemented natural stream enhancement techniques to address AOP barriers.  Some projects include replacement of undersized and perched culverts with natural bottom crossing structures, while others removed unnecessary dams and culverts entirely.  Most of the projects include natural stream bed structures consisting of rocks and logs to transition bed slope from upstream to downstream while facilitating aquatic organism passage.  These step structures are critical elements of AOP projects that may be designed as step-pools, cascades, or riffles depending on site conditions and organism requirements.  Specific design parameters include step height, flow depth, velocity, shear stress, and hydraulic convergence/divergence length.  Design teams must include hydraulic engineers, geomorphologists, and ecologists to ensure that all stakeholder objectives are achieved.  Construction teams must be experienced and qualified to install sustainable natural stream restoration measures.  Lessons learned from AOP enhancement projects should be integrated into watershed planning to restore stream functions and to avoid future impacts of development infrastructure.

Biography: Dr. Greg Jennings founded Jennings Environmental PLLC following his retirement from the engineering faculty of North Carolina State University in 2013 to apply ecological engineering solutions to address environmental challenges.  He has provided leadership and technical support for planning, implementation, and evaluation of 250 ecosystem assessment and restoration projects, including more than 40 miles of stream restoration.  Greg is committed to advancing the science and practice of ecological engineering through collaborations with Universities, governments, and practitioners on demonstration and education projects.


(20) The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts’ – Aristotle

Presenter: Andy Brown, Trout Unlimited, andy.brown@tu.org;  Jake McLean, Wildlands Engineering, jmclean@wildlandseng.com; Brady Dodd, National Forests in North Carolina, bdodd@fs.fed.us; Scott Loftis, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, scott.loftis@ncwildlife.org

Abstract: The US Forest Service, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, Trout Unlimited and Wildlands Engineering will present the big picture and some key details in their collaborative efforts to re-connect and restore coldwater habitat in western NC on both public and private lands.  Each of these organizations has great individual strengths as well as limitations in the management of the coldwater resource.  Combined, they have made exponentially more progress in improving water quality and expanding habitat for aquatic species than they could have ever done alone.  This is important ecologically, economically and to quality of life of the region: trout fishing contributes $383 million annually to the state’s economy; over a dozen municipalities get their drinking water from just two of their conservation focal areas.  Our presentation will focus on how we are utilizing citizen scientists to help identify and prioritize sites for corrective action and the ecological engineering designs we are employing to put effective conservation on-the-ground.  We will take the audience through our broader focal area planning so that they can see the linkages we attempt to create among conservation projects so that benefits can accrue throughout a watershed.  We will end by focusing on a few sites to present design-details on aquatic organism passage using stream simulation design, a US Forest Service developed ecological engineering technique that they are eager to share.

Biographies: Andy is Trout Unlimited’s Coldwater Conservation Manager for the Southern Appalachian Region.  Andy collaborates with private and public landowners, public land management agencies, TU members and other nonprofit conservation groups to develop and implement conservation projects that reconnect, restore and protect aquatic habitat for the benefit of native and wild trout populations and the associated ecology.  Typically these projects involve constructing aquatic organism passage stream crossings at road/waterway intersections, remediating eroding roads and trails adjacent to streams, removing livestock from trout streams and replanting riparian areas to protect and keep trout waters cold.

Jake is a Senior Water Resources Engineer and the Asheville Team Leader for Wildlands.  Jake has 17 years of experience working in the public and private sector on ecological restoration, stormwater and green infrastructure design, watershed planning, floodplain management, hydrologic/hydraulic analysis, scour and sediment transport analyses, and greenway & paddle trail projects. He has worked on aquatic organism passage projects involving dam and culvert removal, retrofit projects to replace old and undersized structures, and new crossings.

Brady is the Forest Hydrologist with the National Forests in North Carolina.  Brady serves in a number of roles as hydrologist in national forest lands planning and management.  Specific to this presentation, Brady develops and implements watershed restoration action plans to help protect, restore and manage water quality and quantity on the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests in western NC.

Scott is the Mountain Aquatic Habitat Coordinator with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.  Scott has over 25 years’ experience developing, planning, supervising construction and monitoring the biological effectiveness of aquatic organism passage and stream restoration projects to benefit the state’s inland fisheries and non-game aquatic species, particularly in western NC.


(21) The 4G Ranch Wetlands: Operating for Our Future

Presenter: Allison Lewis, Jacobs, allison.lewis@jacobs.com

Co-Authors: Rafael Vazquez-Burney, Jacobs Engineering, Rafael.vazquez-burney@Jacobs.com

Abstract: In 2017, the largest groundwater recharge wetland in the world, known as the 4G Ranch Wetlands, was constructed in Pasco County. Groundwater recharge wetlands are constructed wetlands that do not have a surface water outflow and water is applied at the rate of infiltration to the underlying aquifer. The 4G Ranch Wetlands serve as a wet-weather management option for Pasco County’s reuse system and recharge 5 mgd on annual average to the surficial and Upper Floridan Aquifer. Located in an area suffering prolonged drawdown by regional wellfields , the 4G Ranch Wetlands also restore nearby hydrologically-altered lakes and wetlands.

Through a public-private partnership, the 3,000-acre 4G Ranch was identified as a suitable site for the infiltration wetland system. In 2015, the 176-acre groundwater recharge wetland was designed, and construction followed in 2016 and 2017. The 4G Ranch Wetlands are comprised of 15 individual cells that are each operated via water level measurements and flow control valves. Driven by the 4G Ranch’s desire to use the system for recreation, the wetland system includes several ecological design features and a mosaic of wetland habitats with transitional, shallow, and deep-water areas.

The wetlands have been in operation since 2017 and water levels of each wetland cell are adjusted seasonally to achieve healthy wetland hydroperiods and encourage the growth of desirable wetland species. Since operation, the 4G Ranch wetlands have been monitored for the success of the planted wetland vegetation establishment, the rate of infiltration, nitrate reduction, and presence and diversity of wildlife.

This presentation will describe the project, construction methods and lessons learned, and an update on the success of the overall wetland system following approximately two years of operation.

Biography: Allison joined CH2M now Jacobs as a water engineer after receiving her Masters in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida in 2014. Her studies there focused on ecological engineering and wetlands. While attending UF, she had the opportunity to work with Dr. Bob Knight at Wetland Solutions where she gained experience in the ecological assessment of springs and the permitting and design of treatment wetlands in North Florida. Since joining Jacobs, Allison has supported various natural treatment systems projects including treatment wetland designs and ecological assessments, groundwater recharge wetland model updates, and biochemical reactor pilot studies and designs.


(22) Nutrient Retention in the First Full Year by a Wetlaculture Mesocosm System in the Former Great Black Swamp Upstream of the Highly Eutrophic Western Lake Erie

Presenter: Bingbing Jiang, University of South Florida, bingbingj@mail.usf.edu

Co-Authors: William J. Mitsch, Everglades Wetland Research Park, Florida Gulf Coast University, wmitsch@fgcu.edu

Abstract: Human-induced non-point sources of nitrogen and phosphorus have contributed to the world widely common occurrence of harmful algal blooms, such as the serious eutrophication issue of western Lake Erie in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. A sustainable wetland-agriculture integration system (we call it “wetlaculture”) is proposed for reducing high nutrient loaded flows into natural waters and recovering farmland soil conditions by applying wetland treatment system. A physical wetlaculture mesocosm model has been developed on agricultural land in the northwestern edge of the former 4,000 km2 ‘Great Black Swamp’ which was drained entirely in the 19th century. Twenty-eight vertical-flow mesocosms (Rubbermaid tubs 122 x 76 x 61 cm) were installed in the ground with appropriate plumbing in 2017 and planted in October 2017 with the sedge Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani. Drainage ditch water containing agricultural runoff is added by gravity to the mesocosms when there is ditch flow (normally from March to June plus November). In a 2x2x7 experiment the mesocosms were randomly assigned to 2 water depths and 2 hydraulic loading rates (HLR) with seven replicates of each treatment. Started in March 2018, inflow and outflow water samples were collected and analysis for soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), total phosphorus (TP), nitrate+nitrite (NO3+NO2-N), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), and total nitrogen (TN) every two other weeks during sampling hydroperiods. TP and TN in the inflow water were 0.130±0.013 mg-P/L (n=34) and 5.982±0.128 mg-N/L (n=34) respectively, in the first year. Early data in 2018 suggest the wetlands have already become nutrient sinks with a positive removal rate of TP (32±5% (n=167) and TN (82±0.4% (n=208)). After 3 or 4 years, these wetland mesocosms will be flipped (rotated) to a commercial agricultural crop over a several year period to determine x number of years wetlands that are needed to produce y number of years of crops without the addition of fertilizers. This study will provide a valuable information on restoring wetlands from farmlands in the former Great Black Swamp strategically focused on reducing the nutrient loading to western Lake Erie from the Maumee River Basin. Eventually dynamic and spatial mathematical models basing on wetlaculture mesocosm data will be developed to predict the behavior of created and restored wetlands at a landscape-scale for protection of downstream aquatic ecosystems including Lake Erie.

Biography: Bingbing Jiang has been a Doctoral student at University of South Florida since September 2016.  Currently she is also a research assistant at Everglades Wetland Research Park, visiting student at The Ohio State University, and courtesy faculty member at Florida Gulf Coast University. Her research is focusing on wetland biogeochemistry and ecosystem modeling. Her master degree is receive from Capital Normal University (Beijing, China) in 2010. In 2012, She had been a visiting scholar at Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio), Everglades Wetland Research Park, Florida Gulf Coast University, Kapnick Center (Naples, Florida) and Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana), separately. She had ten publications and abstracts related with wetlands since 2010.


(23) Savannah River Site’s A-01 Constructed Wetland System: A Model for Sustainable Ecological Risk Mitigation

Presenter: Matt Huddleston, SynTerra, mhuddleston@synterracorp.com

Co-Authors: Anna S. Knox and Michael H. Paller, Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC

Abstract: In October of 2000, a constructed wetland treatment system began receiving a combination of stormwater and wastewater from the A-01 outfall located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina.  The constructed wetland treatment system was designed to treat approximately one million gallons per day of stormwater from a 200-acre watershed (42% of total flow) and effluent from research laboratories (58% of total flow) at SRS.  The A-01 outfall is an NPDES permitted discharge, and prior to construction of the wetlands, contained copper at levels toxic to aquatic organisms.  The conceptual design of the wetland treatment system was developed from pilot mesocosm studies to identify key aspects of wetland function and performance.  The pilot studies determined specific design parameters such as physical/chemical characteristics of hydrosoil, appropriate hydraulic retention time, and selection of wetland vegetation effective for copper attenuation.  The full-scale constructed wetland system consisted of an upstream retention basin that provided consistent flow via gravity to eight one-acre wetland cells planted with giant bulrush (Schoenoplectus californicus).  The A-01 outfall has consistently achieved compliance for copper, mercury, and toxicity since the wetlands came on line 16 years ago.  The constructed wetland system has provided numerous research opportunities from conceptual design through long-term operation. Much of the research will be highlighted here.  The A-01 constructed wetland system received recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 as a model application of sustainable technology, having saved SRS over $60 million over the life of the system.

Biography: Dr. Matt Huddleston is an ecotoxicologist at SynTerra scientists and engineering firm in Greenville, South Carolina.  Over his career, Matt has collaborated with engineers and scientists to design wetland systems for stormwater and wastewater management around the country.  Matt holds a doctorate in environmental toxicology from Clemson University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Eastern Kentucky University.


(24) Potential of Floating Treatment Wetlands to Manage Phytophthora Species in Agricultural Runoff and Drainage

Presenter: Natasha Bell, Clemson University, natashb@clemson.edu

Co-Authors: Daniel R. Hitchcock, Clemson University, dhitchc@clemson.edu; Steven N. Jeffers, Clemson University, sjffrs@clemson.edu; John C. Majsztrik, Clemson University, jmajszt@clemson.edu; Sarah A. White, Clemson University, swhite4@clemson.edu

Abstract: The National Academy of Engineering has identified 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century, and three of these are: Providing access to clean water, managing the nitrogen cycle, and restoring and improving urban infrastructure. Green infrastructure and ecological water treatment technologies are low-cost, effective methods of remediating nonpoint source contaminants. Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) consist of emergent vegetation established on a buoyant structure that floats on the surface of a water body with roots extended down into the water column. FTWs effectively remediate mineral nutrients in agricultural runoff, but little is known about their potential to manage plant pathogen contaminants. Therefore, our objective was to quantify the effect FTWs had on the numbers of zoospores of Phytophthora species present in irrigation runoff. The research was conducted with a pilot-scale, model FTW system using replicated troughs (3 m × 0.6 m × 0.2 m). Zoospores of P. nicotianae were introduced at the beginning of each experiment to the proximal end of each trough (N=12). Troughs were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: Open water, FTW with no plants, or FTW with plants—either Agrostis alba or Pontederia cordata. Water continuously flowed through each trough at a calculated hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 1 or 4 h. Influent and effluent water samples were collected and monitored for the presence and activity of zoospores using a standard bioassay. Preliminary results indicated that troughs containing plants substantially reduced the activity of P. nicotianae in effluent samples compared to troughs that did not contain plants, especially at the 4-h HRT. The exact mechanism by which FTWs containing plants reduced zoospore activity is not known; however, it is likely due to interception of zoospores by plant roots, which may involve interactions with plant root exudates or the root-associated microbial community.

Biography: Natasha Bell is a Ph.D. Candidate and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture PreDoctoral Fellow in the Biosystems Engineering program at Clemson University. Her research focus is on the development of sustainable water remediation strategies that inform decision-making and policies within the water-energy-food nexus.  She earned her M.S. in Soil and Water Resources Engineering from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her B.S. in Biosystems Engineering from Clemson University. Before returning to Clemson to pursue her Ph.D., Natasha worked for two years as a civil and environmental engineer for a consulting firm in New York City.


(25) Determination of the Parameters of a System of Artificial Wetlands of Vertical Subsuperficial Flow for the Optimations of the Design of Models of Black Box Under Tropical Conditions – CANCELLED

Presenter: Johel Venegas Castillo, University of Costa Rica, johel.venegas@ucr.ac.cr

Co-Authors: Ronald Aguilar Álvarez PhD, University of Costa Rica, ronaldesteban.aguilar@ucr.ac.cr

Abstract: The access of fresh water is a human right; however, population growth, food production, and climate change, restrict even more this resource. In addition, wastewater treatment is often neglected. In 2017, worldwide, 4600 km3/year were consumed, and it was estimated that 80% of the wastewater was delivered into the environment without treatment. Costa Rica faces this problem with the implementation of wastewater treatment policies. Currently, Los Tajos wastewater treatment plant treats 20% of the 2 million inhabitants in the Central Valley. Construction, operation, and maintenance costs make wastewater treatment plants inaccessible to rural areas in Costa Rica. Therefore, this study proposes constructed wetlands as a wastewater treatment alternative for rural Costa Rica as degradation rates of contaminates are speculated to be faster than in temperate zones. The aim of this study is to determine degradation rates (e.g.: k factors in the plug-flow model) for the optimization of constructed wetland design in the tropics. Nine lab-scale vertical subsurface flow constructed treatment wetlands were set up at the Research City, University of Costa Rica. Three wetlands are planted with Neomarica gracilis, three with Heliconia psittacorum, and three are control. This system treats wastewater (e.g.; black water) from the Department of Dentistry. Weekly, chemical oxygen demand, total solids, and total nitrogen and phosphorus are analyzed at the inlet and outlet of each constructed wetland. Plant growth and tissues analysis are carried out to determine nutrient uptake by the plants. It is expected to 1) treat the wastewater, 2) determine removal rates of contaminants adjusted to the tropics, and 3) obtain higher removal by constructed wetlands planted with plants. All this effort will drive to a better design of constructed wetlands as an alternative wastewater treatment system in rural Costa Rica.

Biography: I was born on 9/9/1990 in San José, Costa Rica. Since I was a child I have been a lover of nature that my country offers and my ecological conscience was stimulated from very early on. I entered the University of Costa Rica to study Agricultural Engineering, which years later became Agricultural Engineering and Biosystems. With this new approach I could guide my studies with my desire to generate a contribution to the care of the environment.


(26) Monitoring Bird and Insect Communities Within a Large-Scale Bioretention Project: Year 2

Presenter: David Wituszynski, The Ohio State University, wituszynski.1@osu.edu

Co-Authors: Jack Hudak, The Ohio State University, hudak.97@osu.edu; Donald Hayford, Columbus Innovations, LLC, donald.hayford@columbus-innovations.com; Jay Martin, The Ohio State University, martin.1130@osu.edu

Abstract: Ecological Engineers aspire to design ecosystems that provide human services, but to accomplish this goal we may have to design novel ecosystems – that is, systems without any clear natural analog. Stormwater bioretention systems (rain gardens) are a good example of these: because of the demands on these systems for hydrological performance (as recipients of concentrated runoff from even small storms) and for human health (adequately fast drainage to prevent mosquito breeding), they are unlike any naturally-occurring ecosystem. However, this makes it difficult to evaluate their performance as ecosystems, and perhaps for this reason little work has been done to evaluate the ecological structure and function of bioretention basins. This work is important, as Ecological Engineers also aspire to “integrate human systems and natural systems for the benefit of both” (Mitsch and Jorgensen 1989). Without an understanding of the ecology of these systems, we have little hope of validating our desire to benefit natural systems.

This work aims to take a first step towards closing this gap in knowledge by quantifying changes in bird and insect communities in an area affected by a large-scale bioretention installation. We sampled a neighborhood of Columbus, OH for both of these taxa before and after construction of more than 400 bioretention basins (total constructed area: 0.35 acres, project area: 91.4 acres). Birds were sampled by passive acoustic monitoring; recordings were subsequentially processed for automatic identification of indicator species. Over the same period, insects were collected in pitfall traps both within bioretention systems and at nearby lawns. Comparison of the changes seen in these two communities gives a first-order insight into how the installed bioretention basins are functioning as ecosystems, and what ecological benefits might accrue from their installation.

Biography: David Wituszynski is a doctoral candidate under Jay Martin at the Ohio State University. He is currently working with an interdisciplinary team to evaluate the hydrological, ecological, economic, and community benefits of a large-scale green infrastructure installation in Columbus, OH. He spends a lot of time listening to recordings of birds and fixing composite samplers. His past work includes research into appropriate cookstove design and into human exposure to algal toxins in fish from Lake Erie.  David grew up in New Hampshire and attended college in upstate New York. When he isn’t uneasily eyeing his expected date of graduation, he enjoys reading, playing board games with friends, and exploring Columbus by bicycle.


(27) The Biological Effectiveness of Green Stormwater Infrastructure for Aquatic Toxicity

Presenter: Jenifer McIntyre, Washington State University, jen.mcintyre@wsu.edu

Co-Authors: Edward Kolodziej, University of Washington, koloj@uw.edu; Jay Davis, US FWS, jay_davis@fws.gov; John Stark, Washington State University, starkj@wsu.edu; Nathaniel Scholz, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, nathaniel.scholz@noaa.gov

Abstract: Urban stormwater runoff contains a complex mixture of contaminants that can be toxic to aquatic animals. Effects studied by our research group include acute mortality of aquatic invertebrates and fish, impairments to reproduction of aquatic invertebrates, and neurotoxicity of developing fish embryos. In the Pacific Northwest, native coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) are very sensitive to runoff with high rates of acute mortality in returning adult spawners. This same effect is reproducible in experimentally exposed adult and juvenile coho salmon. Green infrastructure is one approach being used to improve urban runoff for the protection of aquatic species. Bioretention – whereby runoff is treated by passive filtration through soil – is one such approach. Bioretention can prevent many of the acute toxic impacts of urban runoff on aquatic species. This presentation will review research conducted by the Puget Sound Stormwater Science Team – a collaboration of Washington State University, NOAA National Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and University of Washington – into the toxic impacts of urban runoff on aquatic animals and the ability of bioretention treatment to prevent those impacts.

Biography: Dr. Jenifer McIntyre is passionate about science that effects change. Her B.Sc. (1997) in environmental biology at Queen’s University led to the ban of a pulp mill effluent used as a road dust suppressant. Her M.S. (2004) from the University of Washington on contaminant bioaccumulation led the Washington State Department of Health to issue a fish consumption advisory for Lake Washington. Her Ph.D. (2010) research at UW on olfactory neurotoxicity of copper in coho salmon helped pass legislation in Washington and California that phases out metals in brake pads. Dr. McIntyre currently focuses on the ecotoxicology of urban stormwater runoff and the biological effectiveness of green stormwater infrastructure. Dr. McIntyre is currently located at the Washington Stormwater Center in Puyallup, WA where she is an assistant professor of aquatic toxicology for Washington State University’s School of the Environment.


(28) Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal in Bioretention Cells Receiving Agricultural Runoff from a Dairy Farm in South Burlington, VT

Presenter: Jillian Sarazen, University of Vermont, jillian.sarazen@uvm.edu

Co-Authors: Stephanie Hurley, University of Vermont, stephanie.hurley@uvm.edu; Joshua Faulkner, University of Vermont, joshua.faulkner@uvm.edu

Abstract: Stormwater runoff from agricultural production areas contributes to the pollution and degradation of downstream water bodies. At dairy farms, this runoff carries sediments, pathogens, and nutrients; specifically, nitrogen and phosphorus. There is a need to evaluate potential onsite management practices to improve runoff quality and limit the transport of harmful pollutants. Bioretention cells, a type of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), are designed and constructed depressions in the ground. They are typically filled with soil media, planted with selected vegetation, and are used in developed areas to manage the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff. In 2016, three bioretention cells were constructed to receive runoff from a dairy farm production area at the University of Vermont Paul R. Miller Research Complex. The production area consists of paved parking lots, rooftops and gravel roads. Across the three cells, we compare the effects from two treatments: a low-P compost layer and switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, on nutrient removal. During 25 storm events throughout the summer and fall of 2017 and 2018, flow-based water samples were taken using Teledyne ISCO automated water samplers at the inflow and outflow of each cell. These samples were analyzed for total phosphorus (TP), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), total nitrogen (TN), nitrate (NOx–N) and ammonium (NH4-N). Further monitoring of the system in 2019 will evaluate design modifications to increase hydraulic retention time to create an internal water storage zone in each cell for nitrate removal. This presentation will discuss the bioretention design, research questions, methods and results from the 2017 and 2018 monitoring seasons.

Biography: Jillian Sarazen is currently a first year master’s student in the Plant and Soil Science Department at UVM. She graduated in 2016 from Oberlin College with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. As an undergrad, she participated in an REU program and monitored the effectiveness of a green roof. After graduating, she worked for the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service in Northern California and Southern Oregon.


(29) Optimizing Green Infrastructure Performance: Case Studies of Los Angeles Wetlands

Presenter: James Bays, Jacobs, jim.bays@jacobs.com

Co-Authors: Wing Tam

Abstract: Since 2004, when Proposition O (Clean Water Bond) gained City-wide approval from residents, the City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) has constructed over 60 Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) projects to improve water quality, augment water supply, and protect public health while meeting Total Maximum Daily Loads for various pollutants in receiving waterbodies. In addition, the GSI projects enhances the environment, creates ecological systems, provides community green spaces and recreations, reduces localize floods, and facilitates community environment stewardship for healthy neighborhoods.  LASAN was able to utilize the Clean Water Bond funds for the Optimization Phase of the GSI projects through performance assessment, monitoring, and management enhancement to ensure the constructed GSI projects are able to perform together as a functional GSI system. The Optimization Phase is a critical element after construction in order to define the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Operation and Maintenance long-term sustainability.   Conducted between 2013 through 2018, the optimization effort included water quality monitoring, flow measurement, system enhancement, development of standard operating procedures, and training.

Two GSI projects provide useful case histories of optimization and lessons learned on the implementation of natural treatment systems designed to treat stormwater from highly urbanized watersheds. The 9-acre South Los Angeles Wetland treats dry and wet weather runoff by capturing trash and associated pollutants. Echo Park is a 29-acre open space recreational facility centered on 13-acre Echo Park Lake. As part of a multi-year project, the lake was drained, dredged, trash capture devices were installed, constructed wetlands were added to improve water quality, aeration and recirculation system, permeable pavement, bioswales, and a historic water lotus bed was reconstructed and replanted.

Key issues addressed in these case studies include vegetation management and replanting, hydraulics, ecosystem functionality, adequacy of water supply during dry weather, algal management and physical site management.

Biography: Jim Bays is senior wetland scientist at Jacobs Engineering Group, specializing in the planning, design and assessment of natural treatment systems for improving water quality. Jim has over 40 years of experience in wetland ecology and management, and is Certified in Ecological Design from the American Ecological Engineering Society.


(30) The Role of Trees as Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Digging into the Data

Presenters: Trisha Moore, Kansas State University, tlcmoore@ksu.edu

Co-Authors: Alireza Nooraei, Kansas State University Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering; Charles Barden, Kansas State University Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources

Abstract: The potential for urban trees and forests to enhance the capacity of urban landscapes and stormwater control measures to regulate stormwater runoff quantity and quality has been widely recognized.  However, the processes by which trees may regulate urban runoff hydrology are controlled by a myriad of environmental, biological and other factors, thus clouding efforts to quantify stormwater regulating benefits.  In this presentation, the results of a meta-analysis of over 50 studies in which key ecohydrologic (i.e., interception, throughfall, stemflow and transpiration) and/or water quality processes (i.e., nutrient cycling and leaching) associated with urban trees were measured will be presented.  With respect to ecohydrologic processes, we found that the majority of variation in reported measurements could be explained with relatively simple models despite differences in climate, storm events, and tree characteristics among study locations.  The data related to water quality tell a more complicated story, with landscape position and connectedness to street gutters and other artificial drainage networks exerting a strong control on the tree’s role as a net nutrient sink or source to urban stormwater.  While the data reported by existing studies and represented in this meta-analysis reflect the relationship between trees and stormwater at the tree- to site-scales, efforts to extrapolate these data and our understanding to the watershed scale will also be discussed.