Source: UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE EXTENSION submitted to
WATERSHED SCALE PROJECT IN OOSTANAULA CREEK
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0231106
Grant No.
2012-51130-20246
Project No.
TENN-WALKER
Proposal No.
2012-03637
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
110.C
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2012
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2016
Grant Year
2012
Project Director
Walker, F. R.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE EXTENSION
2621 MORGAN CIR
KNOXVILLE,TN 37996-4540
Performing Department
Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science
Non Technical Summary
The Oostanaula Creek watershed in eastern Tennessee is typical of the ridge and valley region that occupies much of the eastern United States along the Appalachian Mountain chain from central Mississippi to southern New York. Ridge and valley regions are characterized by rolling hills and many meandering tributaries. Agriculture operations are typically located in the low lying areas. The issues facing the Watershed are common throughout the ridge and valley region; e.g., urbanization and water quality degradation. This project aims to demonstrate how we can use the best available science to identify sources of non-point pollution (bacteria and sediment) in the watershed, prioritize and implement practices to reduce non-point pollution and educate stakeholders on the use of best management practices that maintain agricultural productivity without negatively impacting environmental quality. We will do this by develop a watershed-scale sediment budget that identifies dominant sources of fine sediment to Oostanaula Creek watershed, conduct economic cost-benefit analysis of sediment source-dependent BMPs specific to the Oostanaula Creek watershed and assess the behavior response of farmer willingness to implement sediment BMPs.We will continue a comprehensive watershed-wide education program to inform farmers, youth and adult residents about the importance of maintaining and improving water quality in the Watershedand conduct educational events throughout the Watershed to demonstrate that BMPs can simultaneously improve water quality and increase agricultural productivity.
Animal Health Component
65%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
25%
Applied
65%
Developmental
10%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1120320106020%
1330199106020%
3071610301010%
6053399301020%
1010320200010%
1120320202010%
1010199302010%
Goals / Objectives
Oostanaula Creek (HUC TN06020002083) is an agricultural watershed in eastern Tennessee,typical of the Ridge-and-Valley region occupying much of the eastern United States. Issues facing this watershed are common throughout the Ridge-and-Valley region (urbanization, water quality degradation, etc.). Oostanaula Creek is listed as impaired due to pathogens (E. coli), nutrient runoff, and loss of biological integrity due to siltation from pasture grazing systems. In 2009, a multidisciplinary team of research and extension faculty from the University of Tennessee was awarded a watershed grant by the USDA CSREES National Integrated Water Quality program. During this project (2009 to 2012) we identified pasture management as a BMP that farmers are most willing to implement. We made progress in developing microbial assays that showed promise in discriminating between micro-organisms from the fecal waste of beef and dairy cows. We used the SWAT model to estimate the impact of changes in land-use on water quality in the watershed. We established a successful watershed-wide education program to inform stakeholders about the importance of water quality. We also conducted educational events to demonstrate BMPs to improve water quality. For this project we will build on the successes of the first phase of this project, continue with the educational and extension components of the project and pursue new objectives to develop a watershed-scale sediment budget, conduct a cost-benefit analysis of source-dependent BMPs to reduce the sediment loads to the Watershed and assess farmers willingness to adopt different sediment BMPs.
Project Methods
The overall objective of our efforts to date and planned have been to use the best available science to identify sources of water quality degrading pollutants in the Watershed and to encourage agricultural producers and other stakeholders to adopt cost-effective BMPs to reduce the pollutant loading. Over the past three years, we have employed and evaluated economic and bio-physical simulation models and new fecal source tracking techniques to identify and target BMPs to cost-effectively reduce pathogen indicator concentrations in the Watershed. The project has five broad objectives: Objective A. Develop a watershed-scale sediment budget that identifies dominant sources of fine sediment to Oostanaula Creek watershed from both rural agricultural and urbanizing lands including: uplands, gully or edge of field erosion, beef cattle/dairy cow walkways; dirt roads, and streambank erosion caused by the free streamside access of cattle and/or urban hydromodification; Objective B. Conduct an economic cost-benefit analysis of sediment source-dependent BMPs specific to the Oostanaula Creek watershed; Objective C. Assess the behavior response of farmer willingness to implement sediment BMPs before and after a community-level presentation of sediment budget model results coupled with an economic cost-benefit analysis of various sediment source dependent BMPs. Does the model provide a behavioral platform to motive the stakeholders to adopt BMPs; Objective D. Continue a comprehensive watershed-wide education program to inform farmers, youth and adult residents about the importance of maintaining and improving water quality in the Watershed; Objective E. Conduct educational events throughout the Watershed to demonstrate that BMPs can simultaneously improve water quality and increase agricultural productivity. For Objective A we will characterize the microbial communities in bank sediments and pasture soils, assess microbial communities in water samples, conduct watershed sediment chemical fingerprinting and develop a watershed sediment budget. For Objective B, BMPs typically used to address various sediment erosion problems will be summarized per sources monitored and modeled. An economic analysis will be conducted to estimate the cost per source reduction using various BMP implementation strategies and CONCEPTs model output. For Objective C we will l build on the farm surveys that have already been conducted in the Watershed. We will conduct surveys to specifically study how farmer willingness to adopt (WTA) changes for a select group of farmer respondents. The behavioral analysis will focus on how the sediment monitoring/modeling effort and sediment budget changes the nature of the community's decision and WTA agricultural BMPs. For Objectives D and E we will continue an existing and comprehensive watershedwide education program to inform youth and adult residents about the importance of maintaining and improving water quality in the Watershed. Conduct educational events throughout the Watershed to demonstrate that BMPs can simultaneously improve water quality and increase agricultural productivity.

Progress 09/01/12 to 08/31/16

Outputs
Target Audience:During the project the target audience included water quality professionals from Tennessee, as well as peers at scientific conferences attended by project members, and many one-on-one interactions with residents of the watershed. Typically the watershed coordinator made 2,500 direct contacts with stakeholders in the watershed annually. Since 2012, we have hosted numerour workshops around the state reaching approximately citizens, landscaping professionals, municipal government professionals, and university students. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?During this reporting period four MS and two PhD students were trained. By the end of the project three MS students had graduated, on failed to submit a final thesis. The two PhD students will graduate in 2017. Project members presented their results at several state, national and international meetings including theTennessee Chapter of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) annual meeting, Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns TN, Soil Science Society of America annual meeting in Long Beach CA, the Canadian Soil Science Society in Montreal, Canada, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and Western Agricultural Economic Association annual meeting in San Francisco CA,the USDA NIFA AnnualPI meeting, Greensboro NC, ASCE/EWRI Watershed Management Symposium,Reston VA, Society of Range Management 68th Annual Meeting; Sacramento CA and International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality Agricultural Production and the Environment Vienna, Austria. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?During the project results from the project were disseminated to water quality professionals from Tennessee, as well as peers at several scientific conferences attended by project members, as well as residents of the watershed. This project was one of 4 impact stories that USDA/NIFA reported to Under Secretary for inclusion in her 2016 annual report: REE-funded university research and extension staff at the University of Tennessee introduced rotational grazing in the Oostanaula Creek watershed in eastern Tennessee. During the course of the project 400 acres of pasture were renovated and 3 miles of cattle exclusion fencing and heavy use cattle lanes were installed. The result was an estimated reduction of 1,450 tons of sediment moving into the stream. Because of the best management practices that were employed, the water contact advisory for significant parts of the stream were lifted. Papers were presented at the annual meeting of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) held at Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns TN. Over 300 participants attended this workshop. Other conferences attended by project members included the Soil Science Society of America annual meeting in Long Beach CA, the Canadian Soil Science Society in Montreal, Canada, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and Western Agricultural Economic Association annual meeting in San Francisco CA,the USDA NIFA AnnualPI meeting, Greensboro NC, ASCE/EWRI Watershed Management Symposium,Reston VA, Society of Range Management 68th Annual Meeting; Sacramento CA and International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality Agricultural Production and the Environment Vienna, Austria. The watershed restoration plan recommended a phased introduction of BMPs. We implemented practices that required minimal cost or planning, such as improvements to pastures, riparian buffers and fences. Project personnel worked with farmers to sign up for federal and state cost-share programs for larger cost BMPs (such as manure storage structures). Several hundred acres of pastures were renovated, several miles of cattle exclusion fencing, heavy use cattle lanes, and cattle waterers were installed during this project. Involvement of the community members included a "Live Staking Volunteer Day" on Walkers Branch, February 21, 2015. Thirty volunteers staked approximately 300 ft of streambank with over 500 live stakes to help reduce erosion and sediment pollution in Oostanaula Creek. At the Tennessee Wetlands Festival, held in the watershed on June 20, 2015 over 200 residents attended. The watershed co-ordinator reported over 2,500 contacts with residents of the watershed during 2015, this included working with youth involved in 4H programs in the watershed. In August 2015, the Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) determined that significant improvement has been made on water quality in the Oostanaula Creek and parts of the watershed have been de-posted a prelude to being removed from the 303d list of impaired streams. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Objective A-1. Characterization of microbial communities in bank sediments and pasture soils. Sediment samples were collected in Athens. After DNA extractions and purification of the sediment samples, high-throughput sequencing analysis, statistical analysis, like alpha diversity and beta diversity, over 7.5 million Illumina sequencing reads, comprised of 72,980 OTUs, were generated from the 30 samples of Oostanaula sediment, cattle manure and poultry litter. Each type of the samples is clustered separately. Results indicate Sediment MST technology can help matching the consortium of bacteria in sediment materials and contaminating sediment to suggest the origin of sediment pollution. Objective A-2. Assess microbial communities in water samples. Water samples were collected from 9 sites in the Oostanaula watershed tested the hypothesis that we can differentiate between contamination in the water due to bank erosion and pasture runoff. These samples were analyzed for E.coli, turbidity, total Bacteroides and bovine-associate Bacteriodes. The most notable change in the watershed is the reduction in E. coli, total Bacteroides and bovine-associated Bacteroides at site 9. These decreases are directly attributable to shutting down of a dairy near this site which was known to directly deposit its waste into the creek. A second observation that has become more clear in 2013 relative to 2010 and 2011 is the almost 2-fold difference in turbidity between the lower watershed sites and the upper watershed sites.Objective A-3. Develop watershed sediment budget. With the potential of switchgrass being a dominant bioenergy feedstock in the Southeast U.S., various studies were conducted to assess its environmental and economic viability. Most previous studies have relied on watershed-scale modeling using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The SWAT erosion input parameter--the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) cover management C-factor-were estimated based, not on field-measured values. Models utilized in these studies rely on a curve number (CN) hydrologic estimation to generate runoff from rainfall, but have assumed a CN for hay/pasture because no value for switchgrass in the Southeast United States have been reported based on field measurements. This study completed field-based measurements of rainfall, runoff, sediment, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus in three East Tennessee catchments with switchgrass cover. The average annual mature switchgrass C-factor was estimated at 0.0006. Total nitrogen output for the various storms ranged from 7.01E-4 g ha-1 to 1519 g ha-1, with a mean load of 358 g/ha. Total phosphorus ranged from 0.11 g/ha to 400 g/ha, with an average load of 125 g/ha. Two CN computational methods were compared; they were the standard and asymptotic methods. Based on statistical error, the asymptotic method provided the best CN estimate of 69 for switchgrass. This CN value best estimates runoff for use in watershed models because it accounts for larger storms and crop management where dense grass cover occurs for most of the year. Results of this study support future SWAT modeling efforts by providing a field-measured modeling C factor, Curve Number, and nutrient export ranges that can be used to conduct general comparisons with model outputs. Objective A-4. Conduct watershed sediment chemical fingerprinting. Seventy samples representing potential sediment sources were collected throughout the watershed and random known mixtures of source material were created to verify the use of sediment fingerprinting for source discrimination. Major and trace elements in each sample were extracted through nitric acid extraction, and the extractions were analyzed using ICP-OES. Extractions were then analyzed using a discriminate function analysis. Elements with discriminatory power were used to run a divisive hierarchical cluster analysis and a canonical discriminate analysis. Samples did not cluster by source groups, indicating that land use type is not a clear distinguisher for sediment sources in the Oostanaula watershed. A linear optimization model and Bayesian mixing model were used to determine sediment source proportions in the mixed samples. Both models failed to accurately predict the proportions of the known mixture. The failure of the linear optimization model was not evident unless the results were compared to the known proportions. This limitation should be noted in future sediment fingerprinting studies, as the model may fail to accurately predict proportions in field-sampled mixed suspended sediment. The Bayesian model however could clearly not differentiate between the source groups, and consequently assumed equal proportions for each sediment source groups. The ability of the model to identify faulty proportions, along with its ability to provide confidence limits, is a benefit of the Bayesian mixing model and should be considered in future studies. While the sediment fingerprinting technique did not provide the ability to discriminate between various sediment sources in the Oostanaula water, the technique may be successful in watersheds with greater differences in land use types or in geological material. Objective B. BMPs typically used to address various sediment erosion problems will be summarized per sources monitored and modeled in Objective A 3. Costs to implement the different BMPs will be generated, for example dollars per length of stream bank restored using geolifts. Other BMPs for stream bank rehabilitation will include fencing a riparian buffer zone. Urban BMPs will include the cost of stormwater detention basins. These BMP costs will be locally determined. An economic analysis was conducted to estimate the cost per source reduction, and various BMP implementation strategies. Objective C. Farm surveys were conducted in the watershed focused on farmer willingness-to-adopt different BMPs and basic community behavioral attitudes.The adoption of BMPs by agricultural producers is largely voluntary. But, programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Water Quality Incentive Program (WQIP), provide incentives to promote BMP adoption. We analyzed the monetary incentives needed to encourage livestock operators to adopt BMPs; cattle waterers, stream crossings, pasture improvements and rotational grazing. Older, more experienced, college educated operators concerned about their farm appearance were confident their responses would impact policy. Stream crossing incentives positively influence adoption of all four BMPs. Cost share levels for rotational grazing are positively correlated with rotational grazing adoption. Objective D. (former Objective 3) Continue a comprehensive watershed-wide education program to inform farmers, youth and adult residents about the importance of maintaining and improving water quality in the Watershed. The watershed restoration plan recommended a phased introduction of BMPs. For this project we implemented practices that required minimal cost or planning, such as improvements to pastures, riparian buffers and fences. Project personnel worked with farmers to sign up for federal and state cost-share programs for larger cost BMPs (such as manure storage structures). Several hundred acres of pastures were renovated, several miles of cattle exclusion fencing, heavy use cattle lanes, and cattle waterers were installed during this project. Involvement of the community members included a "Live Staking Volunteer Day", the Tennessee Wetlands Festival. Over 2,500 contacts were made annually during the project, including youth involved in 4H programs. In August 2015, the Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) determined that significant improvement has been made on water quality in the Oostanaula Creek and parts of the watershed have been de-posted a prelude to being removed from the 303d list of impaired streams.

Publications

  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Medwid, L. J., Signore, A. M., Lambert, D. M., Clark, C. D., Vossler, C. A., Walker, F. R., and S. A. Hawkins. Willingness to Adopt Best Management Practices Among Beef Cattle Producers in Southeastern Tennessee. 2015. Agricultural & Applied Economics Association and Western Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. July 26-28, 2015
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Seiden, Z.T, and J.S. Schwartz. 2015. Characteristics of fine sediment transport along hillslope concentrated flow pathways caused by cattle traffic. ASCE/EWRI Watershed Management Symposium; Reston, Virginia; August 5-7, 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Walton, T.M., J.S. Schwartz, and J.M. Hathaway. 2015. Spatial distribution of sediment and microbes across streams in eastern Tennessee. TN AWRA 24th Tennessee Water Resources Symposium; Burns, Tennessee; April 1-3, 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: Seiden, Z., and J.S. Schwartz. 2014. Comparison of Modeled Runoff Water Quality from Bioenergy Crop Land Conversions of Switchgrass and Short-rotation Pine in the Southeast Region, USA. 3th Annual UTK Watershed Symposium, Feb. 18, 2014.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Seiden, Z., and J.S. Schwartz. 2013. A review of erosional processes along a river continuum: watershed-scale implications for river restoration planning. ASCE/ EW RI World Water & Environmental Resources Congress; Cincinnati, Ohio; May 19-23, 2013.
  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2014 Citation: Simmons, P. V. (graduated May 2014); MS THESIS: A spatial analysis of streambank heterogeneity and its contribution to bank stability.
  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2015 Citation: Seiden, Z. (graduated August 2015); MS THESIS: Modeling water quality for switchgrass crop production: Implications for bioenergy sustainability in East Tennessee.
  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Under Review Year Published: 2017 Citation: Woockman, R. PhD, (anticipated graduation: May 2017); proposed dissertation title: Rethinking Channel Protection: A geomorphic approach to engineering with economic considerations.
  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2016 Citation: Medwid, L. J. (graduated August 2016); MS THESIS: Incentives for Best Management Practice Adoption among Beef Cattle Producers and Effects on Upland Sediment Loss: A Case Study in Southeastern Tennessee
  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Other Year Published: 2016 Citation: Costa, K. (did not graduate but data included as part of Huangfu thesis); Identifying suspended sediment sources using multivariate geochemical fingerprinting
  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Under Review Year Published: 2017 Citation: Huangfu, B. Y. PhD, (graduation anticipated May 2017): Microbial Source Tracking tool for Characterization of Sediment in Oostanaula Creek Watershed
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Walker, F. R., C. D. Clark, M. E. Essington, S. A. Hawkins, D. M. Lambert, A. Layton, J. Schwartz, and L. Reynolds. 2016. Watershed-scale Project in Oostanaula Creek. Presentation at USDA NIFA Annual Project Directors meeting, Washington DC. October 21, 2016.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Submitted Year Published: 2016 Citation: Schwartz, J.S., and P.V. Simmons. 2016. Spatial analysis of streambank structural heterogeneity and its contribution to bank stability in eastern Tennessee. ASCE/ EWRI World Water & Environmental Resources Congress; West Palm Beach; May 23-26, 2016.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2016 Citation: Woockman, R.R., J.S. Schwartz. 2016. Urban stream restoration planning: towards cost-effective mitigation of the effects of hydromodification. ASCE/ EWRI World Water & Environmental Resources Congress; West Palm Beach; May23-26, 2016.
  • Type: Other Status: Accepted Year Published: 2015 Citation: Ludwig, A. L. 2015. Improving Stream Channels, Ditches and Lakeshores with Live Staking. UT Extension website.
  • Type: Other Status: Accepted Year Published: 2015 Citation: Ludwig, A. L. 2015. Rain Gardens for Tennessee: Educators Toolkit. UT Extension website.
  • Type: Other Status: Accepted Year Published: 2015 Citation: Ludwig, A. L. 2015. Rain gardens for Tennessee: Builders Guide. UT Extension website.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2016 Citation: A. Ludwig, B. Collett, G. Ferry, S. Hamilton, C. Stewart, and N. Bumgarner. Making UT Green: Green Infrastructure Demonstrations on Campus. Annual Meeting of the American Ecological Engineering Society. Knoxville, TN. June 9, 2016
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Accepted Year Published: 2016 Citation: A. Ludwig, B. Collett, G. Ferry, S. Hamilton, C. Stewart, and N. Bumgarner. Making UT Green: Enhancing Retention with Knowledge and Experience. Annual Meeting of the Tennessee Stormwater Association. Fall Creek Falls State Park. Oct 19, 2016.
  • Type: Other Status: Accepted Year Published: 2013 Citation: Ludwig AL and JM DeBruyn. 2013. Stormwater happens! 4-H Guided Inquiry Lesson. UT Extension W292-E
  • Type: Other Status: Accepted Year Published: 2013 Citation: DeBruyn JM and AL Ludwig. 2013. It isnt easy being green 4-H Guided Inquiry Lesson. UT Extension W292-D
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: Costa, K. H., M. E. Essington, and F. R. Walker. 2014. Testing the validity of the sediment fingerprinting technique. Proceedings, Proceedings, Soil Science Society of America, annual meeting, Nov 3 to 5, 2014, Long Beach CA.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Huangfu, Y., Hawkins, S., Layton, A., Walker, F. and D. Williams. Microbial Community Analysis in the Sediment of Oostanaula Creek Watershed, 2015. Soil Interfaces for Sustainable Development Program. Canadian Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, McGill University, Montreal, Canada 5th to 10th July, 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Walker, F. Experiences with developing and implementing watershed sale projects in east Tennessee. 2015. International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality Agricultural Production and the Environment Vienna, Austria, 21-24 September 2015
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Seiden, Z., and J.S. Schwartz. 2013. A review of erosional processes along a river continuum from headwaters to river channels. TN AWRA 23rd Tennessee Water Resources Symposium, Burns, Tennessee; November 2013.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Zachariah ST, R.A. Washington-Allen, J.J. McNelis, K.L., Landolt, and J.S. Schwartz. 2015. The Use of Dual-Wavelength Terrestrial Laser Scanning to Detect Micro-Channels or Rills Created by Cattle Trailing and Trampling. Society of Range Management 68th Annual Meeting; Sacramento, CA. January 31- February 6, 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: F.R. Walker, C.D. Clark, J. DeBruyn, M. Essington, S. Hawkins, D.M. Lambert, A. Layton, A. Ludwig, J. Schwartz and L-B Reynolds. Watershed Scale Project in East Tennessees Oostanaula Creek. 2015. Proceedings, USDA NIFA Annual PI Meeting, July 26 to 29, 2015. Greensboro NC.


Progress 09/01/13 to 08/31/14

Outputs
Target Audience:During the year the target audience included water quality professionals from Tennessee, as well as peers at several scientific conferences attended by project members, as well as residents of the watershed. In April 2015, several papers were presented at the annual meeting of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) held at Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns TN. Over 300 participants attended this workshop. Other conferences attended by project members included the Soil Science Society of America annual meeting in Long Beach CA, the Canadian Soil Science Society in Montreal, Canada, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and Western Agricultural Economic Association annual meeting in San Francisco CA,the USDA NIFA AnnualPI meeting, Greensboro NC, ASCE/EWRI Watershed Management Symposium,Reston VA, Society of Range Management 68th Annual Meeting; Sacramento CA and International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality Agricultural Production and the Environment Vienna, Austria. The watershed restoration plan recommended a phased introduction of BMPs. We implemented practices that required minimal cost or planning, such as improvements to pastures, riparian buffers and fences. Project personnel worked with farmers to sign up for federal and state cost-share programs for larger cost BMPs (such as manure storage structures). Several hundred acres of pastures were renovated, several miles of cattle exclusion fencing, heavy use cattle lanes, and cattle waterers were installed during this project. Involvement of the community members included a "Live Staking Volunteer Day" on Walkers Branch, February 21, 2015. Thirty volunteers staked approximately 300 ft of streambank with over 500 live stakes to help reduce erosion and sediment pollution in Oostanaula Creek. At the Tennessee Wetlands Festival, held in the watershed on June 20, 2015 over 200 residents attended. The watershed co-ordinator reported over 2,500 contacts with residents of the watershed during 2015, this included working with youth involved in 4H programs in the watershed. In August 2015, the Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) determined that significant improvement has been made on water quality in the Oostanaula Creek and parts of the watershed have been de-posted a prelude to being removed from the 303d list of impaired streams. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?During this reporting period four MS and two PhD students were undergoing training. Project members presented their results at several state, national and international meetings including theTennessee Chapter of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) annual meeting, Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns TN, Soil Science Society of America annual meeting in Long Beach CA, the Canadian Soil Science Society in Montreal, Canada, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and Western Agricultural Economic Association annual meeting in San Francisco CA,the USDA NIFA AnnualPI meeting, Greensboro NC, ASCE/EWRI Watershed Management Symposium,Reston VA, Society of Range Management 68th Annual Meeting; Sacramento CA and International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality Agricultural Production and the Environment Vienna, Austria. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?During the year results from the project were disseminated to water quality professionals from Tennessee, as well as peers at several scientific conferences attended by project members, as well as residents of the watershed. In April 2015, several papers were presented at the annual meeting of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) held at Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns TN. Over 300 participants attended this workshop. Other conferences attended by project members included the Soil Science Society of America annual meeting in Long Beach CA, the Canadian Soil Science Society in Montreal, Canada, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and Western Agricultural Economic Association annual meeting in San Francisco CA,the USDA NIFA AnnualPI meeting, Greensboro NC, ASCE/EWRI Watershed Management Symposium,Reston VA, Society of Range Management 68th Annual Meeting; Sacramento CA and International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality Agricultural Production and the Environment Vienna, Austria. The watershed restoration plan recommended a phased introduction of BMPs. We implemented practices that required minimal cost or planning, such as improvements to pastures, riparian buffers and fences. Project personnel worked with farmers to sign up for federal and state cost-share programs for larger cost BMPs (such as manure storage structures). Several hundred acres of pastures were renovated, several miles of cattle exclusion fencing, heavy use cattle lanes, and cattle waterers were installed during this project. Involvement of the community members included a "Live Staking Volunteer Day" on Walkers Branch, February 21, 2015. Thirty volunteers staked approximately 300 ft of streambank with over 500 live stakes to help reduce erosion and sediment pollution in Oostanaula Creek. At the Tennessee Wetlands Festival, held in the watershed on June 20, 2015 over 200 residents attended. The watershed co-ordinator reported over 2,500 contacts with residents of the watershed during 2015, this included working with youth involved in 4H programs in the watershed. In August 2015, the Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) determined that significant improvement has been made on water quality in the Oostanaula Creek and parts of the watershed have been de-posted a prelude to being removed from the 303d list of impaired streams. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?A one-year no-cost extension was requested for this project to extend the project deadline to August 2016. During this period we will complete graduate student projects, write theses and draft papers to be published in the peer-reviewed literature. The Rapid Geomorphic Assessment (RGA) technique developed by the USDA National Sedimentation Laboratory will be used to score each of the pilot stream reaches. The RGA provides an overall rating for the susceptibility of a channel to erosion. A work-in-progress, erosion loads for the pilot streams will be tabulated based on RGA score and hydrologic area to determine the relationship between these factors. This task is key in developing simplified field protocols that watershed managers can implement, and optimally target restoration projects for channel protection

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Objective A-1. Characterization of microbial communities in bank sediments and pasture soils.Sediment samples, originating from pasture soils, cattle walkways and creek banks, were collected throughout the upstream and downstream of OCW at the city of Athens. After DNA extractions and purification of the sediment samples, high-throughput sequencing analysis, statistical analysis, like alpha diversity and beta diversity, a total 7,565,516 Illumina sequencing reads, comprised of 72,980 OTUs, were generated from the 30 samples of Oostanaula sediment, cattle manure and poultry litter. Each type of the samples is clustered separately. Results indicates Sediment MST technology can help matching the consortium of bacteria in sediment materials and contaminating sediment to suggest the origin of sediment pollution. Objective A-2. Assess microbial communities in water samples. This work was reported in the last progress report. Objective A-3. Develop watershed sediment budget. In this project a major effort in developing watershed sediment budget was to estimate source mass loadings from cow paths. It was hypothesized that cow paths and the soil erosion within are a significant portion of excessive in stream fine sediment. We quantified the total runoff and sediment transport from cattle paths located along the hillslope, and characterized this information relative to hydrologic and geomorphologic hillslope conditions. Runoff and sediment samples were collected from both cattle path and control sites on the hillslope in the northern and southern portions of the Oostanaula watershed in East Tennessee. Two farms sites were used. Unique water and sediment samplers were deployed for this study. Data were collected from a total of 34 storms from November 2013 through January 2015. The average yields from the three cow path collectors ranged from 5.671 to 19.998 kg/event, whereas the controls were significantly less from 0.014 to 0.750 kg/event (p < 0.01).Significant relationships with storm duration, intensity, and magnitude were observed. Watershed hydrology and sediment data have been collected at Cedar Spring Creek, a tributary to the Oostanaula River in order to model bank dynamic erosion processes. An ISCO composite sampler was installed at data collected from February 2013 through August 2015. The study site collected data with turbidity sondes, stage probes, and rain gauges. Laboratory analysis will be performed to provide a relationship between WQ samples from the composite sampler and in-situ sondes. Additional efforts for model calibration will include topographic surveys (completed), characterizing bedload particle distribution (completed), measuring critical shear in-situ (completed), and characterization of vegetated properties at the reach scale (completed). The CONCEPTS model has been developed and model calibration is still a work in progress. Objective A-4. Conduct watershed sediment chemical fingerprinting. Excessive sediment is widely considered a pollutant in surface waters. The aim of this study is to test the validity of sediment fingerprinting as a reliable discriminator between various sediment sources in a watershed. The study area is the Oostanaula watershed in east Tennessee, which consists of rural and urban land uses, and is representative of the Cumberland Ridge and Valley ecoregion. Seventy samples representing potential sediment sources were collected throughout the watershed. Six samples representing random known mixtures of source material were created to verify the use of sediment fingerprinting for source discrimination. Major and trace elements in each sample were extracted through nitric acid extraction, and the extractions were analyzed using ICP-OES. Extractions were then analyzed using a discriminate function analysis. Elements with discriminatory power were used to run a divisive hierarchical cluster analysis and a canonical discriminate analysis. Samples did not cluster by source groups, indicating that land use type is not a clear distinguisher for sediment sources in the Oostanaula watershed. A linear optimization model and Bayesian mixing model were used to determine sediment source proportions in the mixed samples. Both models failed to accurately predict the proportions of the known mixture. The failure of the linear optimization model was not evident unless the results were compared to the known proportions. This limitation should be noted in future sediment fingerprinting studies, as the model may fail to accurately predict proportions in field-sampled mixed suspended sediment. The Bayesian model however could clearly not differentiate between the source groups, and consequently assumed equal proportions for each sediment source groups. The ability of the model to identify faulty proportions, along with its ability to provide confidence limits, is a benefit of the Bayesian mixing model and should be considered in future studies. While the sediment fingerprinting technique did not provide the ability to discriminate between various sediment sources in the Oostanaula water, the technique may be successful in watersheds with greater differences in land use types or in geological material. Objective C. We will build on the farm surveys that have already been conducted in the Oostanaula watershed and which focused on farmer willingness-to-adopt (WTA) different agricultural BMPs and basic community behavioral attitudes. The adoption of best management practices (BMPs) by agricultural producers is largely voluntary. However, state programs funded under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Water Quality Incentive Program (WQIP), provide incentives to promote BMP adoption. We analyzed the monetary incentives needed to encourage livestock operators to adopt BMPs; cattle waterers, stream crossings, pasture improvements and rotational grazing. In the study we found that older, more experienced, college educated operators concerned about their farm appearance were confident their responses would impact policy. Stream crossing incentives positively influence adoption of all four BMPs. Cost share levels for rotational grazing are positively correlated with rotational grazing adoption. Objective D. Continue a comprehensive watershed-wide education program to inform farmers, youth and adult residents about the importance of maintaining and improving water quality in the Watershed. The watershed restoration plan recommended a phased introduction of BMPs. For this project we implemented practices that required minimal cost or planning, such as improvements to pastures, riparian buffers and fences. Project personnel worked with farmers to sign up for federal and state cost-share programs for larger cost BMPs (such as manure storage structures). Several hundred acres of pastures were renovated, several miles of cattle exclusion fencing, heavy use cattle lanes, and cattle waterers were installed during this project. Involvement of the community members included a "Live Staking Volunteer Day" on Walkers Branch, February 21, 2015. Thirty volunteers staked approximately 300 ft of streambank with over 500 live stakes to help reduce erosion and sediment pollution in Oostanaula Creek. At the Tennessee Wetlands Festival, held in the watershed on June 20, 2015 over 200 residents attended. The watershed co-ordinator reported over 2,500 contacts with residents of the watershed during 2015, this included working with youth involved in 4H programs in the watershed. In August 2015, the Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) determined that significant improvement has been made on water quality in the Oostanaula Creek and parts of the watershed have been de-posted a prelude to being removed from the 303d list of imparied streams

Publications

  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Improving Stream Channels, Ditches and Lakeshores with Live Staking SP776-B UT Extension Publication Published May 2015
  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Poster Presentation  Natural Channel Design on Oostanaula Creek: This stuff really works! at Research Symposium, Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Huangfu, Y., S. A. Hawkins, A. Layton, D. Williams, and F. R. Walker. 2015. Sediment-Microbial Source Tracking (MST) for Oostanaula Creek Watershed. American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Tennessee Water Resources Symposium, Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns TN
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Seiden, Z. T., J. Schwartz, D. C. Yoder, and F. R. Walker. 2015. Characteristics of Fine Sediment Transport Along Hillslope Concentrated Flow Pathways Caused By Cattle Traffic. American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Tennessee Water Resources Symposium, Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns TN
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: Costa, K. H., M. E. Essington, and F. R. Walker. 2014. Testing the validity of the sediment fingerprinting technique. Proceedings, Proceedings, Soil Science Society of America, annual meeting, Nov 3 to 5, 2014, Long Beach CA.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Submitted Year Published: 2014 Citation: Walker, F. R., C. D. Clark, J. M. DeBruyn, M. E. Essington, S. A. Hawkins, D. M. Lambert, and A. L. Ludwig. 2014. Watershed Scale Project in Oostanaula Creek. Proceedings, USDA NIFA Annual PI Meeting, October 27 to 29, 2014. Washington DC.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Huangfu, Y., Hawkins, S., Layton, A., Walker, F. and D. Williams. Microbial Community Analysis in the Sediment of Oostanaula Creek Watershed, 2015. Soil Interfaces for Sustainable Development Program. Canadian Soil Science Society of America annual meeting, McGill University, Montreal, Canada 5th to 10th July, 2015
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Huangfu, Y., Hawkins, S., Layton, A., and F. Walker. 2015. Sediment-Microbial Source Tracking (MST) for Oostanaula Watershed. International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality Agricultural Production and the Environment Vienna, Austria, 21-24 September 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Walker, F. Experiences with developing and implementing watershed sale projects in east Tennessee. 2015. International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality Agricultural Production and the Environment Vienna, Austria, 21-24 September 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: F.R. Walker, C.D. Clark, J. DeBruyn, M. Essington, S. Hawkins, D.M. Lambert, A. Layton, A. Ludwig, J. Schwartz and L-B Reynolds. Watershed Scale Project in East Tennessees Oostanaula Creek. 2015. Proceedings, USDA NIFA Annual PI Meeting, July 26 to 29, 2015. Greensboro NC
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Medwid, L. J., Signore, A. M., Lambert, D. M., Clark, C. D., Vossler, C. A., Walker, F. R., and S. A. Hawkins. Willingness to Adopt Best Management Practices Among Beef Cattle Producers in Southeastern Tennessee. 2015. Agricultural & Applied Economics Association and Western Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. July 26-28, 2015
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Seiden, Z.T, and J.S. Schwartz. 2015. Characteristics of fine sediment transport along hillslope concentrated flow pathways caused by cattle traffic. ASCE/EWRI Watershed Management Symposium; Reston, Virginia; August 5-7, 2015
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Walton, T.M., J.S. Schwartz, and J.M. Hathaway. 2015. Spatial distribution of sediment and microbes across streams in eastern Tennessee. TN AWRA 24th Tennessee Water Resources Symposium; Burns, Tennessee; April 1-3, 2015.
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Walton, T.M., J.S. Schwartz, and J.M. Hathaway. 2015. Spatial distribution of sediment and microbes across streams in eastern Tennessee. TN AWRA 24th Tennessee Water Resources Symposium; Burns, Tennessee; April 1-3, 2015
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Zachariah ST, R.A. Washington-Allen, J.J. McNelis, K.L., Landolt, and J.S. Schwartz. 2015. The Use of Dual-Wavelength Terrestrial Laser Scanning to Detect Micro-Channels or Rills Created by Cattle Trailing and Trampling. Society of Range Management 68th Annual Meeting; Sacramento, CA. January 31- February 6, 2015
  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Published Year Published: 2015 Citation: Zachariah Seiden (graduated August 2015); THESIS: Modeling water quality for switchgrass crop production: Implications for bioenergy sustainability in East Tennessee.


Progress 09/01/12 to 08/31/13

Outputs
Target Audience: During 2013 over a mile of exclusion fencing and 640 acres of pasture were renovated. Over 2,500 feet of livestock travel lanes were installed on two dairies and a drop inlet structure installed. Over 500 4-H members, teachers, parents, and volunteer leaders attended the McMinn County Farm Day and where given talks on erosion control and other water quality BMPs by the watershed coordinator. Adult educational events this year include presenting the “Environmental Concerns” session of UT Extension’s Master Beef program, presented at the stockyard near Athens, for farmers from McMinn, Meigs, Bradley, and Polk Counties and the stockyard near Sweetwater, for farmers from Monroe and Loudon Counties. During the period a twelve month calendar for 2014 was produced. This “Agricultural and Urban Best Management Practices for Water Quality” calendar highlights and describes 12 separate BMPs, mostly from Oostanaula. A total of 3,000 copies of the calendar have been produced and will be distributed landowners and other stakeholders across Tennessee through local UT Extension offices, Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, EPA Region IV, Atlanta and USDA NIFA in Washington DC. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Nothing Reported How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? Nothing Reported What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? We plan to continue to work on the Objectives, as outlined in the proposal

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Three graduate students have been recruited to work on this project. We have been collecting and analyzing water samples from 9 sites in the Oostanaula watershed in order to generate material to test the hypothesis that we can differentiate between contamination in the water due to bank erosion and pasture runoff. These samples are being analyzed for E.coli, turbidity, total Bacteroides and bovine-associate Bacteriodes using the same methods dating back to 2010. Thus data also provides information regarding contamination trends in the watershed. The most notable change in the watershed is the reduction in E. coli, total Bacteroides and bovine-associated Bacteroides at site 9. These decreases are directly attributable to shutting down of a dairy near this site which was known to directly deposit its waste into the creek. A second observation that has become more clear in 2013 relative to 2010 and 2011 is the almost 2-fold difference in turbidity between the lower watershed sites (oost sites 1-3) and the upper watershed sites (oost sites 7-9). We are currently filtering and freezing 100 to 200 ml water samples for each site and collection date and will perform illumina amplicon sequencing on select samples after we have completed a full year of monthly sampling. We have conducted a second survey of cattleproducers(n = 3,600 surveyed). A GIS database of willing and potential BMP adopters in McMinn, Monroe, and Bradley Counties, Tennessee has also been developed. Soil sampling protocols have been developed and samples collected across the watereshed for chemcial and micobial charactertization

Publications

  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Enhancing Water Quality In Tennessees Oostanuala Watershed: An Integrated Approach Towards Understanding Adoption And Efficacy Of BMPs. NIFA, USDA Symposium. Soil and Water Conservation Society Annual meeting, July 22, 2013. Reno NV (National, 2013)
  • Type: Conference Papers and Presentations Status: Published Year Published: 2013 Citation: Lambert, D. M., C. D. Clark, S. A. Hawkins, F. R. Walker, and A. C. Layton. 2013. A study of cattle producer preferences for best management practices in an East Tennessee watershed. Proceedings 23rd Tennessee Water Resources Symposium. November 4-6, 2013.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2014 Citation: Lambert, D. M., C. D. Clark, F. R. Walker, A. Layton, and S. A. Hawkins. 2012. A study of cattle producer preferences for best management practices in an East Tennessee watershed. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.