Measuring and Improving the Water Quality Benefits of Sustainable Forest Management Across the Southeastern U.S.
Monitoring and Quantifying the Effects of State Forestry BMP Programs on Soil Erosion and Sediment Delivery for the Southeastern US
Why this project matters
This collaborative project, led by Virginia Tech, will comprehensively compare and contrast the implementation and effectiveness of the 13 Southeastern states’ forestry best management practices (BMPs) for water quality. This will require monitoring sediment delivery ratios, erosion rates, and BMP‑implementation scores across multiple regions. Findings will allow state forestry organizations and other stakeholders to quantify sediment protection provided by state BMP programs and highlight the sustainability of forest management.
How the project helps enhance best management practices for water quality
Sediment is the largest stream water pollutant from forest management in the southeastern U.S.
Currently, relationships between actual soil erosion and sediment delivery are poorly understood. This comprehensive multiregional and multi-sponsor study will collect, analyze, and interpret data using seven major objectives, including:
Estimating sediment-delivery ratios (i.e., soil eroded and the amount of sediment deposited into streams) by forest region and forest operation
Quantifying the relationships between BMP implementation percentages and sediment delivery and/or soil erosion
Estimating the impact that state and regional BMP programs have had on sediment reduction