Project Status: modeling is complete
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Land use in the Maumee River watershed varies. Approximately 3.2 million acres (80 percent of the total watershed) is agricultural cropland. However, the watershed also includes forested, industrial, and expanding urban areas. The Maumee River is the largest tributary source of suspended sediment to Lake Erie. Much of this sediment loading is caused by soil erosion, the removal of stream bank vegetation, and stream habitat modification for cultivated croplands. The lower portion of the Maumee River is designated as an Area of Concern, with beneficial use impairments affected by increased urbanization within the watershed. Also of concern are the contaminated dredged materials that are removed from portions of the Federal navigation channel.
Selecting the Upper Auglaize
Due to the large size of the Maumee River basin, this project focused on one major subwatershed - the Upper Auglaize - with the intention of developing knowledge that could be easily applied to future modeling efforts by other partners throughout the basin. The Corps chose to model the Upper Auglaize for several reasons. Past studies of the basin have identified the Upper Auglaize subwatershed as a signficant contributor of sediment to the Toledo Harbor. The soils, topography, and landforms of this subwatershed are representative of the Maumee River basin as a whole; therefore, results from the Upper Auglaize project would be useful to environmental managers throughout the entire basin. And signficant data, including a U.S. Geological Survey gaging station at the mouth, complemented the existing agency infrastructure which provided the technical expertise, data, and staff resources needed to complete the project.
An existing GIS database was then expanded using Landsat-7 remote sensing data with a focus on DEM development, identification of buffer zones, and changes in urban land use/land cover. An AGNPS (Agricultural Non-Point Source) model was also developed for the Upper Auglaize River watershed. Modeling of various scenarios was conducted to predict erosion, sediment yield, and changes in sediment delivery, and to track the use of conservation tillage practices.
Modeling was completed and a training workshop for state and local partners was convened in February of 2005.
For more information - or to obtain digital data for advanced modeling purposes - contact:
USACE, Buffalo District