In the summer of 2003 CRWP worked with EnviroScience Inc. to evaluate 60 headwater stream sites in the Upper Main Branch watershed of the Chagrin River with a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Coastal Zone Management Program.

The Primary Headwater Habitat Inventory and Land Use Analysis Upper Main Branch of the Chagrin River (pdf 10MB, published in 2003) evaluated the quality of streams in the watershed to provide information on the impact of land use changes on these streams and to support your local efforts to protect stream functions, improve degraded streams, and minimize erosion and storm water problems. Streams were evaluated using Ohio EPA’s Field Evaluation Manual for Ohio’s Primary Headwater Habitat Streams.

The study revealed the following:

  1. It is necessary to perform biological evaluations to accurately assess PHWH stream class;
  2. Alterations to stream channel and riparian vegetation removal can have severe detrimental effects on stream functions and values, such as increased water temperature, nutrient enrichment, and erosion;
  3. Stream water chemistry and biology show measurable signs of degradation in watersheds with >40% anthropogenic land use; and
  4. High quality stream biology is limited by watersheds having more than 6% impervious surface area.