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Session A7- Rapid assessment of road-stream crossings for aquatic organism passage

Abstract
The River and Stream continuity Partnership has developed assessment protocols for evaluating the barrier effects of road-stream crossings. In addition to these protocols, the University of Massachusetts Amherst created an online database and an algorithm for scoring crossing structures according to the degree of obstruction they pose to aquatic organisms. The online database provides a mechanism for storing and retrieving data from crossing assessment surveys and making those data available to agencies, organizations and the general public. First implemented in 2003 and revised several times since, these protocols have been used to assess crossing structures in five states (CT, MA, NH, RI & VT). In 2010, to improve the usability of the data from these surveys and better integrate data across state lines, a new universal coding system for road-stream crossings was developed and implemented. In 2008, The Nature Conservancy and University of Massachusetts collected data to test the robustness and repeatability of the protocol and compare results with those of other fish passage models. Results of these analyses were used to revise and improve the assessment protocols as well as the scoring algorithm used by the database. A reliable and accurate rapid field assessment protocol with an efficient process for scoring, storing and retrieving information from those assessments provides an important tool for evaluating opportunities and establishing priorities for culvert replacement and the restoration of river and stream continuity.
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Date
2011-06-29
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