USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center Project: Pilot Remote Camera Deployment, Platte River

Statement of Problem: The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PPRIP) is a Federal-State-Local collaboration in restoration of the Platte River in Nebraska. Restoration activities involve using various combinations of flow releases and heavy machinery to shape mid-channel sandbars to support nesting of interior least terns and piping plovers. There is a need to test various methods to document these restoration strategies. We have worked with the PPRIP to deploy a remote, networked, tower-mounted camera to develop basic photodocumentation of restoration sites.

Objectives: The objectives are to deploy a remote-controlled, internet-enable pan/tilt camera for one year to test applicability to PRRIP objectives, including restoration of nesting sandbars for interior least terns and piping plovers, and restoration of the nearshore habitats that provide forage fish and insects. This work supports the Terrestrial, Freshwater, and Marine Ecosystems program goal(2) to devise a restoration and adaptive management framework for impaired ecosystems. It also supports the Fisheries: Aquatic and Endangered Resources Program goal develop research and technology tools to provide the scientific basis for developing adaptive management strategies and evaluating their effectiveness for restoration efforts to sustain aquatic resources. This research contributes directly to the Ecosystems USGS research them as it supports research into physical and chemical processes affecting river-corridor habitat structure and function, and their resilience under changing environmental conditions. It also relates to USGS Water Census theme as it addresses how re-engineering of large river channels interacts with restoration of flow regimes to provide ecosystem services for threatened and endangered speceies. Similarly, understanding of the efficacy of channel re-engineering in restoring ecosystem functions will help develop options for mitigating effects of climate change (Climate Theme).
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