Dr. Goddard's Research Lab
Dr. Goddard and her students study the streams in the Darby Creek, Pennsylvania watershed. This watershed includes almost all of Delaware County and parts of Philadelphia, Chester, and Montgomery County. The Darby Creek has been an important part of the history of southeastern Pennsylvania since the time of when Native Americans controlled this area until the present day.
Radnor Valley Country Club in Villanova, PA. plans to restore the stream bank along 2,680 ft. of Ithan Creek, a major tributary of the Darby Creek. The streambank in the country club is protected only by turf grass and erosion is constant. The streambed is mostly coarse sand. The restoration will be accomplished by removing tons of sediments and reshaping the streambank to slope gently. Native riparian vegetation will be planted.
We are studying the macroinvertebrate community within the area to be restored and will study the community for three years post-restoration. We are also assessing the macroinvertebrates upstream in a forested reach to determine if there is a vibrant community to recolonize after restoration.
We have found differences between the macroinvertebrate communities in the forested and grassy areas of the stream. This seems to be accounted for by the lack of shelter for macroinvertebrates in the grassy area, whereas there are abundant leaves, sticks, and rocks in the forested area. We have also collected fish from both sites and plan to study what the presence and absence of fish species can tell us about the quality of the creek habitat also. We have also been invited to do similar studies at one site in Chester County and another site in Delaware County. We hope to start on at least one of those studies in fall 2009.