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USGS Publishes New Study on Stream Health

The U.S. Geologic Study (USGS) recently published a study that linked chemical and physical stressors associated with urban development to the health of small streams in the Southeast. The researchers studied 75 small streams in three urban areas (Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; and Raleigh/Durham/Greensboro, NC) and found impairment in those streams with even a small amount (about 10%) of urban development in the watershed. Not surprisingly, the impairment increased with increasing amounts of urbanization. This study used statistical ecological models to identify the most important stressors, among hundreds of potential stressors measured. This study is the second of five Regional Stream Quality Assessments (RSQA) program conducted by USGS.