Effects of Semi-Permanent Structures (HabiTubes & Habi-Mats) on Benthic Populations in Restored Streams
Author: Thomas Dombrowski and J. Patrick Barber Prince William County Environmental Services and Acer Environmental, LLC.
Abstract: Prince William County (PWC) Public Works Department has been working to improve water quality and aquatic habitat by conducting numerous stream restoration projects throughout its region. Several streams have been restored but the diversity and number of benthic macroinvertebrates have not returned to these streams. Therefore, PWCounty wanted to conduct a study to determine if semi-permanent structures that could hold leaf pack or woody debris would improve benthic population numbers until the stream could produce these material on its own. For this project PWC has contracted with Acer Environmental, LLC. the owner of a proprietary, patent protected systems, called HabiTubes and Habi-Mats. The HabiTubes and Habi-Mats restoration system allows for the semi-permanent creation of leaf packs and woody debris in the riffles and glides of streams. This study was to determine if HabiTubes and Habi-Mats can increase benthic populations in restored streams. Therefore sampling in the restored streams has included sampling in a control area without any additional materails, modified sampling in an area with HabiTubes and modified sampling in an area with the Habi-Mats.