Restoration & Monitoring Methods

Cross Section and Pebble Count

Each site has four cross sections located at the beginning, the end and two in the middle evenly spaced out. On March 12,  2018, our team performed surveys and pebble counts of each cross section and longitudinally along the total 300-foot span of the creek including the 100-foot buffer located between the restored and control sites. The survey produces elevations for the data points allowing a holistic view of the shape and morphology of the creek. The pebble counts indicate the average substrate type and size that makes up the creek at the different sections. At the beginning of the restoration site, a riffle with mostly gravel substrate gives way downstream to slower pools with compacted shale.

Team surveying a cross section in treatment area during second annual monitoring event
Team surveying a cross section in treatment area during second annual monitoring event

Erosion Pins

Erosion pins were also placed at each cross section along both banks at the bankfull depth, 2 feet above the bankfull depth and 4 feet above the bankfull depth. The erosion pins were approximately 3-foot long pieces of rebar that was pounded perpendicularly into the stream bank. The top 6 inches remained above the ground and were painted florescent orange. Quarterly, the erosion pins will be measured to determine the rate of erosion occurring along the stream bank.

Three installed erosion pins on one bankside of a cross section
Three installed erosion pins on one bankside of a cross section

Managing Invasives

TWRI worked with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority to receive authorization to spray invasive elephant ear. On July 13, 2018 the TWRI team sprayed for elephant ears within the project using 1 percent Clearcast (Amazamox) and 0.8 percent Dyne-Amic solution.

Spraying elephant ears to help with removal
Spraying elephant ears to help with removal

Quarterly Measurements

The team takes quarterly measurements every three months to monitor erosion along the site. It also collects Bank Erosion Hazard Index (BEHI), erosion pins, and water quality samples during these trips. 

Measuring erosion pins during a quarterly monitoring trip
Measuring erosion pins during a quarterly monitoring trip
Collecting water grab samples.
Collecting water grab samples.

Clare Entwistle Escamilla
clare.entwistle@ag.tamu.edu

Clare Entwistle Escamilla, TWRI research specialist, provides leadership for various research and extension projects, working with university faculty, state, local and federal governments and stakeholders, to address statewide water related issues.

Nathan Glavy
nathan.glavy@ag.tamu.edu

As Extension program specialist for TWRI, Nathan Glavy works on the development and execution of watershed planning projects and trainings, the watershed coordinator development program, and the water quality and riparian education programs.

    News


    The Texas Water Resources Institute has published its latest Annual Report, focusing on accomplishments and project highlights from 2019.


    The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program will host an Urban Stream Processes and Restoration Training from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 29 in New Braunfels for professionals interested in conducting stream restoration projects around the Interstate 35 corridor.


    If you follow Texas Water Resources Institute on social media (@TxWRI), you may have noticed our monthly program spotlights, but in case you missed it, for the month of September the focus was on our Urban Riparian & Stream Restoration Program.


    This month’s txH2O highlight is from the Fall 2017 issue of the magazine and focuses on the effectiveness of low impact development (LID) practices in reducing negative environmental impacts of urban growth.


    The Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program of the Texas Water Resources Institute will host an Urban Stream Processes and Restoration training from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 19 in McKinney for professionals interested in conducting stream restoration projects in and around the Dallas area.


    From a math major to a watershed saver, Clare Entwistle, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) research associate, knows that protecting riparian areas is important for the future of Texas.


    The Texas Water Resources Institute water team along with Ward Ling, Geronimo and Alligator Creek watershed coordinator, and volunteers recently planted native species along the Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program demonstration site located on Geronimo Creek at the Irma Lewis Seguin Outdoor Learning Center in Seguin, Texas.

     


    Riparian and natural resource professionals discussed current innovations and issues in riparian restoration and management at the Urban Riparian Symposium: Balancing the Challenges of Healthy Urban Streams Feb. 15-17 in Houston at Rice University’s BioScience Research Collaborative Building.


    The Urban Riparian Symposium will be held Feb. 15-17, 2017, in Houston, and natural resource professionals are invited to attend, share ideas and discuss management and policy issues.


    Even in cities, amidst the tall buildings, fast cars and busy people, there are still natural resources that need protection — particularly urban riparian areas, according to Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute Extension program specialist. These vegetative buffers found along rivers and streams are complex ecosystems that include the land, plants, animals and network of streams within them.