Surface Water Hydrology and Hydraulics - Sediment and Nutrient Monitoring at Selected Watersheds within the Kaskaskia River Watershed for Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), Illinois State Water Survey

Surface Water Hydrology and Hydraulics

Clinton, Fayette, Marion, and Montgomery counties

Sediment and Nutrient Monitoring at Selected Watersheds within the Kaskaskia River Watershed for Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Principal Investigator: Laura Keefer

Project Staff: John Beardsley, Erin Bauer, Lara Seek, and Joyce Wyse

Sponsor: Office of Resource Conservation, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Project Period: 2013-2016

Lost Creek - South of Huey, IL
East Fork Shoal Creek – South of Witt, IL

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) was initiated as a joint federal/state program with the goal of improving water quality and wildlife habitat in the Illinois and Kaskaskia River basins. Based on numerous research and long-term data in the Illinois River basin, the two main causes of water quality and habitat degradations in major river corridors were known to be related to sedimentation and nutrient loads. Based on this understanding, the two main objectives of the CREP were to reduce the amount of silt and sediment entering the main stem of the Illinois and Kaskaskia Rivers by 20 percent; and to reduce the amount of phosphorous and nitrogen loadings to by 10 percent. To assess the progress of the program towards meeting the two goals, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) are developing a scientific process for evaluating the effectiveness of the program. The process includes data collection, modeling, and evaluation.

The monitoring strategy for the project was to select small Kaskaskia River tributary watersheds to establish an intensive monitoring program to detect any changes in sediment and nutrient transport characteristics that could be attributed to changes in land use or other factors. The project is designed to measure the cumulative impact within the watershed on sediment and nutrient yield and is not designed to measure the impact of specific BMPs on water quality or sediment yield. Several factors were evaluated to determine the final locations of the intensive monitoring sites, such as artificial inflow and outflow of water due to water supply, industrial, and recreation needs, geology, land use, currently available water quality data for more prescriptive monitoring plans, areas likely to have appreciable CREP sign-ups, and co-location with other physical, biological, and water quality program stations. Co-locating and/or supplementing monitoring stations with other water quality and aquatic sampling stations in the watershed is an integrated approach that contributes to understanding the mechanisms that link hydrologic, sediment, nutrient, biological, and physical information for application in other watersheds in Illinois. Leon Hinz, Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), collaborated with the co-location site selection of intensive monitoring stations.

The four small watersheds selected for intensively monitoring sediment and nutrient within the Kaskaskia River basin are located within the Crooked Creek, North Fork Kaskaskia River, Hurricane Creek and Shoal Creek watersheds. In addition, two continuous recording raingages were established in the watershed each near the monitored watersheds.

Selected Related Publications:

Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 2000a. Kaskaskia River Area Assessment, Volume 1: Geology Springfield, IL, 127 p.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 2000b. Kaskaskia River Area Assessment, Volume 2: Water Resources Springfield, IL, 127 p.

Knapp, H. V., G. S. Roadcap, E. G. Bekele, H. A. Wehrmann, W. E. Gillespie, J. S. Hecht and F. J. Pisani. 2012. Water Supply Assessment for Kaskaskia River Watershed Development: Phase I Technical Report. Illinois State Water Survey Contract Report 2012-12, 29 +Appendices p.

Leighton, M. M., G. E. Ekblaw and L. Horberg. 1948. Physiographic Divisions of Illinois. Illinois State Geological Survey Report of Investigations 129, Urbana, ILp.

Website:

IDNR Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP):

http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/CREP/Pages/default.aspx





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