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Expanding the Southeast Aquatic Barrier Prioritization Tool:  Assessing Aquatic Fragmentation in the Western United States; Kat Hoenke

Resource Category: 
2021 Conference
 
 
Expanding the Southeast Aquatic Barrier Prioritization Tool:  Assessing Aquatic Fragmentation in the Western United States
 
Kat Hoenke1*, Jessica Graham2, Brendan Ward3
 
1 Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, 2957 Kingsmark Ct, Abingdon, MD 21009;  kat@southeastaquatics.net
2 SARP; Brendan Ward
3Conservation Biology Institute
 
 
Fragmentation of river habitats by anthropogenic barriers is one of the primary threats to aquatic species in the United States. In an effort to address this issue, SARP has been working with partners including USFWS to identify, prioritize, and remove barriers to aquatic organisms in the Southeastern United States through the Southeast Aquatic Connectivity Program. SARP has developed a comprehensive living inventory of dams and road stream barriers, detailed metrics to prioritize these barriers for removal or bypass, and has been working with partners within state-based Aquatic Connectivity Teams to incorporate on the ground information and implement high priority barrier removal or remediation projects. Through working with the Conservation Biology Institute and Astute Spruce, SARP's inventory and prioritization has been optimized and formatted into a user-friendly interactive tool for use by partners. With funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Passage Program, this inventory and tool will be expanded into an additional 10 western states over the next three years. The Southeast Aquatic Barrier Prioritization tool provides summaries of barrier densities within user specified areas of interest and allows users to prioritize barriers for removal based on ecological metrics using various filters. The results provided by the tool help identify high priority projects to implement and allow resource managers to access information regarding barrier locations and attributes that were not readily accessible in a one stop shop prior to SARP’s work. SARP is currently in the data collection phase for the expansion of this work into the west, and is actively looking for sources of data.
 
 
 

 

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