Hydromodification and Habitat Alteration
Hydromodification activities include channelization and channel modification, dams, and streambank and shoreline erosion. A frequent result of channelization and channel modification activities is a diminished suitability of instream and streamside habitat for fish and wildlife. They can also alter instream patterns of water temperature and sediment type, as well as the rates and paths of sediment erosion, transport and deposition. Hardening of banks along waterways has increased the movement of nonpoint source pollutants from the upper reaches of watersheds into coastal waters.
Dams can adversely impact the hydraulic regime, surface water quality and habitat in the stream or river where they are located. The siting, construction and operation of these facilities have a variety of impacts on these systems.
The erosion of shorelines and streambanks is a natural process that can have either beneficial or adverse impacts on the creation and maintenance of riparian habitat. Excessively high sediment loads can smother submerged aquatic vegetation, cover shellfish beds and tidal flats, fill in riffle pools, and contribute to increased levels of turbidity and nutrients.
Chapter Fact Sheet
This fact sheet explains the nonpoint source-related problems associated with hydromodification as well as a summary of management measures.
- National Management
Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Hydromodification
The primary goal of this guidance document is to provide technical assistance to states, territories, tribes and the public for managing hydromodification activities and reducing associated NPS pollution of surface and ground water. The document describes examples of the implementation of practices that can be used to reduce NPS pollution from activities associated with channelization and channel modification, dams, and streambank and shoreline erosion.
Measures for Hydromodification: Channelization and Channel Modification,
Dams, and Steambank and Shoreline Erosion
This is the hydromodification management measure chapter of the document Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal Waters.