Ecological Integrity At Risk for the Cadron Creek Watershed in Arkansas

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The Cadron Creek watershed covers approximately 775 square miles and is composed mostly of forests (48%) and grassland (37%). However, a pending permit, AR0052086C, would allow a centralized waste treatment facility to discharge, recycled fracking fluid waste waters into an unnamed tributary located within the Cadron Creek watershed. This unnamed tributary flows directly into Linn Creek, which would then feed into the north fork of the Cadron and eventually into the Arkansas river (ADEQ 2013). The Cadron Creek, located within the Arkansas river basin, is listed by the US Army Corps of Engineers as an extraordinary resource water body or ERWB (USACE 2013). ERWBs are important, because they satisfy a broad range of socio-economic, cultural, …show more content…

Headwater streams are of particular interest, because they have much smaller catchment sizes in relation to larger rivers and thus are more readily altered by land transformations (Meyer 2007). Land transformation as a result of anthropogenic effects continues to be one of the biggest threats to the ecological integrity of headwater streams today. Land transformation induced by human alterations to the landscape, have been shown to have negative impacts on habitat, water quality, and the biota of natural waterways (Allan 2004). For instance, in 2004 Gage found that macro invertebrates were negatively impacted by anthropogenic mediated land use, which often lead to declines and even eliminations of sensitive taxa from the stream (Gage et. al. 2004). Urbanization is considered to be one of the driving forces behind land transformation and is mainly responsible for increases in impervious surface area. Increases in impervious surface area have led to the rapid conveyance of storm waters, resulting in the increased presence of oils, metals, and road salts within surface waters (Moore et. al. 2005). The increased presence of these solutes are leading to variations in ionic concentrations that deviate from natural concentrations, thus altering the conductivity within the water systems. Conductivity is the measure of the ability of water to pass an electrical

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