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Research

Research

Most of the current research is included in the Watershed Management Plan Appendices as the official write up of a given ORV. These reports are outlined below and downloadable as pdfs. This list does not include the staff level research and policy assessment documents which are available in the Watershed Management Plan Appendices.

Archeology
“Nearly 300 archaeological and historic architectural sites have been identified for the towns and villages within the Eight Mile River watershed, 23 of these are located within ¼ mile of the Eight Mile River and the East Branch. The historic sites include many existing buildings, bridges, mills and dams, cemeteries and wharfs, a number of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Historic Districts are found in Salem, Lyme and East Haddam. The prehistoric sites (Native American), spanning at least 8,000 years (Middle Archaic – Historic Periods), have been identified by artifacts found during surficial and subsurface surveys and through information provided by collectors. These archaeology sites document the region’s progress from settlements of hunters-gatherers to colonial agriculturalists whose industrial and commercial adaptations during the Industrial Revolution ushered them into the world of industrial capitalism. Several of these archaeological sites have outstanding resource value.”

Download the Watershed Management Plan Appendix 13: Archeological Resources

Geology
“Several aspects of the geology of the Eightmile River watershed stand out as being regionally and locally significant. On the bedrock side, these include a rare (for New England) combination of tectonic setting, rock assemblages and fractures that controlled the development of a topography that is unique to a small part of southeastern Connecticut. The advance and retreat of the two glaciers that are known to have overridden Connecticut also left their mark on the watershed in the form of a nice sampling of most of the glacial features that would typically be found in Connecticut.”

Download the Watershed Management Plan Appendix 3: Geology of the Eightmile

Biodviersity
“…the Eightmile River watershed ranks very high in a state and regional context in terms of biodiversity values and biodiversity significance. This is indicated by a high number of species identified as “at risk” by various conservation organizations, and it is indicated by the relatively high numbers of the subset of “at risk” species that are classified as globally rare and state-rare, compared with all other watersheds in Connecticut and New England. It is a unique regional stronghold for several specific rare/at risk species. In addition, in terms of a number other parameters that are indicators of ecosystem integrity, intactness, and function, the Eightmile watershed is comparable to, or exceeded only by, a few watersheds in southern New England that have the largest concentrations of extant rare species in all of New England.”

Download the Watershed Management Plan Appendix 6: Eightmile Biodiversity Report (large file).

Cultural/historic landscape
“The landscape of the Eightmile River watershed is far from an untouched wilderness. The scenery that we see today, which is overwhelmingly a mosaic of successional forest and human settlement, is a product of thousands of years of human interaction with the land. The watershed is full of diverse ecological patterns and is rich in cultural history. This document offers an overview of the human relationship with the Eightmile River landscape and the patterns that have evolved as a result of the enduring connection between people and the land. For the purpose of project, a “cultural landscape” is de?ned as a geographic area, including both cultural and natural resources, associated with a historical event, activity, or person or exhibiting other cultural and aesthetic values.”

Download the Watershed Management Plan Appendix 5: Cultural Landscape (large file 9mb).

Plants and natural communities
“The report presents a condensed summary and interpretation of a survey of the Eightmile River watershed for rare plant and significant natural community occurrences, conducted by [Bill Moorhead] from 19 June – 27 October 2003. A more detailed summary has been prepared, in the from of a digital Microsoft EXCEL spreadsheet entitled “Site Survey Summary – 8mile River Watershed 2003.xls”, which includes a summary of individual site survey results is broken down into 17 parameters. These cover different classes of significant species and natural communities looked for and not found as well as those found at the site, an invasive species control urgency rank subjectively assigned to the site, together with explanatory comments, and comments on other site management concerns and issues. An explanation of the invasive control urgency ranks is appended to the Site Survey Summary EXCEL spreadsheet.”

Download the Watershed Management Plan Appendix 4: Plant and Natural Communities Survey.

Riparian buffer science
“Riparian buffers are vital elements of watersheds, primarily due to their protection of surface and ground water quality from impacts related to human land use. These vegetated buffers are complex ecosystems that provide food and habitat for unique plant and animal species, and are essential to the mitigation and control of nonpoint source pollution. In fact, the removal of streamside vegetation, primarily for development purposes, has resulted in degraded water resources and diminished value for human consumption, recreation, and industrial use.”

Download a subchapter of Watershed Management Plan Appendix 9: Riparian Buffer Science.

Water Quantity Research – Instream Flow and Biological Assessment

Phase 1 Water Quantity Research
The purpose was to gain a general overview of the ecological composition of the river, building upon literature review and preliminary fish and mussel data collection as reconnaissance for a multiyear project. The completed portion of the NEIHP Eightmile study includes description of the history of the watershed, a summary of the existing bio-physical information on the area, an assessment of the status of the fish fauna and finally, a discussion of recommended measures and areas of the watershed that may require additional attention with regard to either protection or restoration.

Phase 2 Water Quantity Research
This report describes Phase II of the project contracted to Northeast Instream Habitat Program, and aims to describe the status quo of the Eightmile River and provide guidance for the creation of long term management plans for the watershed. In Phase I we gained a general overview of the ecological composition of the river, building upon literature reviews and preliminary fish and mussel data collection. The goal of the Phase II study is to collect the instream habitat and watershed-scale information necessary to develop a prototype for habitat simulation models, for determining the biological objectives of a management plan for the Eightmile River watershed.

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