August 14, 2020– The Slough Restoration Project team spent the week in the field at project sites Spider’s Cut, Douglas Slough and East River. This multi-year project will restore the connection of three slough systems in the Apalachicola River watershed during times of low flow by removing sediment plugs and reestablishing hydrologic connectivity. The Apalachicola Bay depends on the river, its flooded floodplain, and its floodplain sloughs, which support the bay ecosystem with freshwater, nutrients and detritus.
Some ecological tidbits from the field:
Dr. Matthew Deitch of the University of Florida explains:
At Spider’s Cut, we took cores of the sand that has accumulated in sloughs along the lower Apalachicola River system to examine how the physical characteristics of the material change with depth. These cores will help us to identify where the sand that we see in sloughs has come from, and where the natural bed of the slough begins. Our team will use this information to assess how much excess sand will need to be removed in order to restore the habitat and physical function of sloughs in this region.
In this short video, Dr. Mike Gangloff (with a cameo by his son, Wade) tells us about the endangered Fat three ridge mussel.
Photo album of some of the activities.
In September, members of the Franklin County Conservation Corps will begin clearing traverse lines to provide the baselines for topographic surveys and coring locations. They will also cut transect lines for the forest monitoring team working in the Spiders Cut floodplain. Water quality monitoring equipment will be then be installed. The project team will be working at Spiders Cut and Douglas Slough much of September during low flows when sediment plugs are visible. The team will then move on to the East River to conduct similar surveys.
The Slough Restoration Project team includes: Ken Jones, Matt Kondolf, Scott Walls, Ajay Sharma, Justin McKeilhen, Matt Deitch, Jiahua Zhou, Dan Tonsmeire, Andy Gannon, Mike Gangloff and Georgia Ackerman. The project is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.
Previous SRP blogs:
Posted by Georgia Ackerman, Riverkeeper and Executive Director