Using aquatic biological assessments in conjunction with chemical and physical parameters to examine water quality before and after AMD remediation, reclamation, or treatments can be of great value. It is the biology of the stream that ultimately reveals its true health both before and after AMD recovery efforts.
Several of the Raccoon Creek Partners have collaborated to gather biological data throughout the watershed. Among these groups are Ohio University staff and students, Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Division of Wildlife (DOW) and Division of Mineral Resources Management (DMRM), Midwest Biodiversity Institute (MBI), and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA).
Raccoon Creek Partners also conduct MAIS and ICI sampling to better understand the macroinvertebrate communities in the streams and as additional habitat assessment criterion. The Macroinvertebrate Aggregated Index for Streams (MAIS) is a sampling technique based on family level identification of creatures collected from riffles using kick nets, and dip net samples from all other naturally occurring habitats within the sampling reach. The final score, a number ranging from 0 at poor sites to 20 at good sites is based on multiple metrics including sensitive species richness and feeding style.
The Invertebrate Community Index (ICI) identifies macroinvertebrates to a genus species level. With this sampling technique, collection is done though artificial substrates for collecting colonizing creatures, and dip nets for sampling all other available habitat. The ICI score is also a combination of several metrics and the final score ranging from 0 to 6 is based on its comparison a similarly structured, undisturbed site.
Current Ohio EPA Habitat Designations
Check out Raccoon Creek’s Improving Biology!
Data collected during these biological sampling events is available for viewing and download from the Raccoon Creek online database on the NPS Monitoring Site. Just choose a sampling site near the area of your interest and click on Biological Data