Conservation Partners connecting working lands conservation from the Gulf of Mexico to the High Plains with the vision of a sustainable landscape of natural resources resilient to the threats and stressors associated with our changing world.

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    Garner State Park - TPWD

    Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2014

Managing changes to hydrologic flow in the south-central United States

Formal Title: Managing Instream Flows and Developing Hydrologic Information for the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative

Research Focus: Hydrology; hydrologic flow; instream flow

Conservation & Management Challenges:

The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, a partner in the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, is advancing instream flow science by developing basic information necessary to support flow standards and water management recommendations for waterways throughout the region. Helping resource managers prepare for future population growth and climate change-associated flow alterations at regional and local scales will enable state and federal agencies to focus regulatory and management efforts on habitats most vulnerable to altered flow. They will be able to develop more effective management strategies to minimize impacts to fish and wildlife and better inform policy-makers on conservation needs.

Research Overview:

Developing instream flow science is a priority for the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative.  The project involved the work of many partners to gather baseline information on the ways the hydrology of rivers and streams throughout the area of the Gulf Coast Prairie LCC have been altered and the broader ecological effects of those changes.  It also prioritized future research to fill important information gaps and identified hydrology-related environmental challenges on which to focus and invest in the future.  It will be integrated with similar efforts in surrounding regions for even broader benefit. 

Results:

Products include a compendium of flow-ecology hypotheses, aquatic and hydrologic data that was used to test several of the hypotheses, a river classification framework, flow alteration assessment, flow-ecology literature database, and maps of aquatic conservation priority areas. Baseline information has been integrated into the Conservation Planning Atlas and is available for downloading. This will be continually updated and supplemented as more information is finalized. Additional information about this work can be found at the Southern Instream Flow Network page of the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership website.

Access Hydrologic Flow project reports on ScienceBase

Status:

The 3-year project was initiated in 2012 and was completed in 2014. It was funded by the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

Contacts:

Principal Investigator: Mary Davis, Ph.D., Southern Instream Flow Network, 3563 Hamstead Ct., Durham, NC 27707

Landscape Conservation Cooperative Point-of-Contact: Bill Bartush, Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70506

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