Marsh Creek and Long Island Creek Watershed Concluding Thoughts

Over a span of six weeks, we conducted a watershed assessment in six different locations conducting different physical, chemical, and bacterial testing. Geographically the Marsh Creek watershed abuts Long Island Creek Watershed to the south. A layperson description of the two watersheds would find them very similar. Both watersheds flow in a South Westerly direction; both confluencing at the Chattahoochee River. Both creeks see a land use of similar distribution between suburban neighborhood and more dense urban commercialized areas. These and many other factors suggest that when summarizing the watersheds it is better to discuss their inherent similarities and shared issues and point out unique issues or features as warranted. Both streams run through densely populated areas, however the phrase "out of site out of mind" is applicable when referring to the relationship between these creeks and the community at large. There are of course notable exceptions where homeowners on both creeks have attempted and succeeded in restoration projects small and large along the creeks. The issue with individual property responsibility is that it only fixes the issue at that given point in the waterway; displacing a problem to another location. Pointing out another issue unique to Long Island Creek would be the point at which it passes through Whitewater Palisades Recreation Area and confluences with the Chattahoochee. This site provides a fantastic place to get respite from the urban hustle and bustle however when one more closely analyzes the situation one sees that that there is an extreme and direct level of human and pet interaction with the waterway proper.

As is a common occurrence with all watersheds coli-form counts showed significant increases after a rain event. The accepted scientific rational for the increases are due to the high levels of impervious surfaces that are located within the watershed; subsequently responsible for ever growing levels of non-point source pollution. Additional sources that contribute to high coli-form counts are landscaping and poor personal property maintenance e.g. the dumping of yard waste. A glaring observation made at all of the sites along this stream was that erosion and undercutting is heavily affecting the stream beds and quality of [[#|bank]] vegetation. The flashing*1 nature of these urban streams is the root cause of sediment and debri deposition into the water and major root exposure of many of the trees on the streams edge. Testing results shown throughout both watersheds are similar to those found in urban streams throughout Georgia (Georgia Adopt-a-Stream) this indicates that problems recorded during the duration of the course research are not isolated.

*1 Flashing - a rapid rise and fall of water levels due to runoff

Watershed Analysis Conclusion

Land Use / Remote Sensing

Urban Tree Risk