Assessment of Streams Report
The City of Gaithersburg sponsored a stream assessment in 2001 - 2002 to evaluate stream conditions and identify restoration opportunities. The objective of the study was to provide an ecological assessment of water quality and resource conditions within the City's more than 24 miles of streams and to identify restoration opportunities that could improve conditions within and along these streams. The following report, titled "An Ecological Assessment of Streams in Gaithersburg, Maryland" documents the findings of the study conducted by Versar, Inc., under contract to the City of Gaithersburg.
Stream Study Overview
A three-part study was initiated to assist the City in characterizing the streams within the City boundaries. The first part of the study was a stream monitoring program using Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) and Montgomery County protocols. This monitoring program consisted of the following elements:
- Biological assessment involving monitoring both benthic macroinvertebrates inhabiting the streambed and freshwater fish species composition and relative abundance.
- Physical evaluations of both geomorphic and physical habitat characterization.
- Water quality assessment involving field measurements of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity, and pH.
The second part of this study involved the identification of areas for stream restoration. This task focused on identifying those sites within the City where restoration would be most cost-effective and would provide the greatest ecological benefit. A restoration targeting approach based on both new and existing data was used to (1) determine the general problem types and trends in stream condition; (2) develop criteria using existing information to distinguish problem types; (3) identify areas or sites experiencing degradation and the most likely causes of these problems; (4) develop and apply criteria to rank candidate restoration sites; and (5) recommend site-specific restoration measures.
The final component of this study was the identification of potential citizen monitoring locations within the City of Gaithersburg. The City is interested in initiating a program of citizen volunteer monitors to gather data on stream conditions. Well-trained volunteers can provide data useful for environmental management. In addition, the educational experience gained by citizen volunteers can raise public awareness and involvement. A list of candidate sites was compiled and a map of the sites was prepared for the report.
For more information about the stream assessment or to become a volunteer stream monitor, please contact Environmental Services at email@example.com.