Explore and Restore Maryland Streams

(3) Stream Corridor Assessment – Physical Features

Click here for Overall Student Data Sheet for All Stream Activities

In a stream corridor assessment, students walk along the stream and look at physical features to determine the general physical condition of the stream system and identify the location of a variety of common environmental problems within the stream’s corridor. This evaluation can help to identify opportunities for action projects.

Macroinvertebrate habitat 

Stream Corridor and Habitat Assessment - Developed with Maryland Department of Natural Resources stream restoration biologists, this is a tool that allows students to grade different features of the stream corridor that indicate overall health of the ecosystem. Potential environmental problems identified as part of the Stream Corridor and Habitat Assessment survey may include: erosion, inadequate stream buffers, lack of habitat for fish and macroinvertebrates, and others. Use the Stream Corridor and Habitat Assessment Data Sheet to record your findings. The survey can also be used to identify potentially healthy stream sections that may be in need of environmental protection. Students can take photographs of problems and upload them to the Maryland FieldScope mapping tool.

Use the new Coastal Stream Corridor and Habitat Assessment for low gradient streams on the coastal plain. This tool was also developed with stream restoration and resource assessment biologists to more closely assess conditions for these unique waterways. This tool requires a slightly different data sheet.