One of the main goals of the Eno River State Park is to preserve natural
habitats by creating buffers of protected land around the river. Presently, there are still unprotected parcels of land contiguous
to the river that are potential sources of pollution and habitat degradation. This study is a bioassessment of the approximately
12-mile stretch of the Eno River that is within state park boundaries. We will determine if pollution sources are having
negative effects on the river ecosystem by assessing the physical habitat, macrofauna diversity, and chemical indicators of
water quality. My hypothesis is that river sections devoid of point-source pollution have complex habitats, diverse and abundant
microfauna, and good water quality. This bioassessment will be carried out by dividing the river into transects and measuring
the following in each transect:
i) Physical habitat characteristics (including pebble counts to quantify benthic
ii) Macroinvertebrate diversity, as biological indicators of ecosystem health;
indicators of water quality, including dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, turbidity, flow and salinity.
will help the state park prioritize habitat protection by highlighting polluted areas of the river. Additionally, this survey
will serve as a preliminary assessment of the river's health in a region near a dam that is slated to be dismantled in
the fall of 2006. By collecting data prior to the dam's removal, we are in a position to make a comparison of habitats
before and after the dam is dismantled.