Evaluating the Hydrology, Water-Quality, and Ecological Communities of Two Restored Urban-Suburban Streams in Northern Virginia

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Resource Protection Group, Inc., is conducting an intensive stream monitoring program of two restored, small (< 1.3 mi2), urban-suburban streams in Reston, Virginia. In 2010, both stream channels were restored to stabilize the banks, preventing channel incision, mass wasting of the banks, and the attendant deleterious sediment effects. Restoration efforts will continue with the introduction of multiple species of unionid mussels, planned for 2023. The monitoring program assesses the hydrology, water-quality, benthic macroinvertebrate communities, fish assemblages, and physical habitat throughout the two streams to evaluate changes over time. The monitoring program has completed two years of data collection and will continue to collect these data through 2027. In collaboration with Virginia Tech, this program will evaluate whether mussel introductions could be used as an effective BMP for nutrient and sediment reductions and if they provide other water-quality or ecological benefits.