The Ausable River Association (AsRA) in the final days of an Adirondack Gives campaign to acquire survey equipment essential to restoring the Ausable watershed’s streams and culverts. The Gives website, hosted by the Adirondack Foundation, provides crowdfunding opportunites for Adirondack non-profits. AsRA’s staff hopes to provide pre-design measurements of four priority culverts in the Ausable watershed this October to meet a 2015 construction schedule.
“Precise data is essential to assessing the shape, structure, water flow, and health of any stream,” according to an announcement to the press by AsRA Executive Director Kelley Tucker. “AsRA’s staff is trained to measure stream cross-sections, develop longitudinal profiles, conduct pebble counts, and assess bank structures and water flow. Often, because of limited local resources, these measurements are estimated or require skilled personnel to travel from Vermont or downstate to complete them. With the proper equipment and increased data capacity, AsRA’s staff will be able to provide this service for projects throughout the watershed and share data with restoration partners and the public.”
Funds raised will purchase a construction-grade laser level and receiver, survey rods, an aluminum tripod, cross-section stakes, 300’ and 100’ fiberglass measuring tapes, and other essential surveying tools. If the campaign reaches its $2900 goal, AsRA will also purchase a more powerful computer to manage the software used to analyze, process, and store data and produce imagery that will aid in sharing information gathered.
Tucker, who is trained in applied river morphology and stream assessment said, “in order to apply our knowledge and help conserve and restore the Ausable, we need the laser precision of this survey equipment. These tools allow us to work more efficiently and cost-effectively with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, county and town staff, and private landowners to develop and implement stream restoration and culvert designs that benefit the river and the human communities that rely on it.”
AsRA’s staff, working with Trout Unlimited, Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) coordinated the restoration of Rivermede Farm in Keene Valley in 2012, to restoe water flows and create flood resilience. In 2013, they coordinated restoration of the lower 900 feet of John’s Brook also in Keene Valley. This year, AsRA and their partners have been busy with two stream restoration projects on the West Branch of the Ausable River and two culvert retrofit projects on Palmer Brook in the Town of Black Brook. All these projects are designed to restore fish habitat and natural stream hydrology, create resiliency during floods, and help public private landowners protect and conserve the river.
“In every case,” notes Tucker “for restoration projects to produce long-lasting results that work for the stream, its ecology, for fish, other wildlife, and for the people who love and depend on it, careful measurement is essential before, during, and after construction.”
You can find their Adirondack Gives Campaign online.