This study explores the current state of knowledge with respect to the effects of wet weather flows from urban areas on the physical character of aquatic habitat. It identifies knowledge gaps with respect to our ability to define the cause-effect relationships, examines the comprehensiveness of the data used in support of the published literature in the subject area, and makes a qualitative determination of the usefulness of those data for further analysis to increase our knowledge in the subject area. Finally, it recommends further research studies that will increase our knowledge in the subject area, with emphasis on pilot-scale projects that can be used to develop practical protocols for preventing or mitigating the effects. Major findings and conclusions are: 1) we lack a solid conceptual framework for predicting the impact of large-scale watershed modifications and wet weather flows on ecological processes that influence stream communities; 2) there is a need for longer-term monitoring; 3) there is no widely accepted system for quantifying geomorphic instability and degradation of physical habitat; 4) there is a need for process-based stream classification; 5) specific links between urbanization characteristics and stream degradation are lacking; 6) there is a need for urban best management practice (BMP) assessment standards; and 7) developing a multi-scale understanding of habitat potential in human-dominated watersheds is needed. The report recommends a research program that first and foremost, includes comprehensive, long-term monitoring augmented with mathematical modeling of the linkages between development style/drainage system design, flow regime, and multi-scale changes in physical habitat and biotic response. Improved diagnosis and predictive understanding of future change require multifaceted, multiscale, and multidisciplinary studies based on a firm understanding of the history and processes operating in a drainage basin. Detailed long-term analyses of the influence of hydrologic regime and channel morphology on differences between communities in recruitment, immigration/emigration, mortality, and age structure are also needed. Finally, future research should directly examine tradeoffs between: 1) flood mitigation versus channel roughness, habitat heterogeneity, debris inputs, and riparian protection; 2) chemical water quality improvement through extended detention versus geomorphically-based flow regime controls; and, 3) rehabilitation of aquatic habitat using static features versus allowing the potential for dynamic adjustments in channel form and habitat structure. It is extremely important that the research be pragmatic, and focus on developing pilot/demonstration studies that will lead to design guidance that municipalities can use to design new systems, or improve existing systems, that will protect not only the safety and welfare of the citizenry that it serves, but also the aquatic ecosystems in the streams that receive the wet weather discharges from these urbanized sites.
"By far the single most important account and analysis of the Katrina catastrophe." David L. Clark, McMaster University In his newest provocative book, prominent social critic Henry A. Giroux shows how the tragedy and suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina signals a much larger crisis in the United States-one that threatens the very nature of individual freedom and inclusive democracy. This crisis extends far beyond matters of leadership, governance, or the Bush administration. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart of democracy and must be understood within a broader set of antidemocratic forces that not only made the social disaster underlying Katrina possible, but also contribute to an emerging authoritarianism in the United States. Questions regarding who is going to die and who is going to live are driving a new form of authoritarianism in the United States. Within this form of "dirty democracy" a new and more insidious set of forces-embedded in our global economy-have largely given up on the sanctity of human life, rendering some groups as disposable and privileging others. Giroux offers up a vision of hope that creates the conditions for multiple collective and global struggles that refuse to use politics as an act of war and markets as the measure of democracy. Making human beings superfluous is the essence of totalitarianism, and democracy is the antidote in urgent need of being reclaimed. Katrina will keep the hope of such a struggle alive because for many of us the images of those floating bodies serve as a desperate reminder of what it means when justice, as the lifeblood of democracy, becomes cold and indifferent.
Latest News Headlines Articles
Latest News Headlines Books
Latest News Headlines