Stream Assessment Projects  

Amity Data Map

This mapping tool was created for users to view various synoptic data collected from the stream or throughout the watershed as part of the Weber Stream Restoration Initiative

Current data sets include:

  • Amity Synoptic Surveys (see below)

  • Amity erosion reconnaissance 11/2009 

  • MPCA Citizen Stream Monitoring sites

  • Amity revegetation sites (coming soon)

  • other data layers will be added as they are generated or discovered

Amity Synoptic Surveys

This effort provides a water quality snapshot of the entire Amity watershed. Over the past three years we have conducted four synoptic surveys of the watershed where 27 locations are sampled within the same 8 hour period. An interactive map of the sample sites can be found here. Assessments in 2011 and 2012 occured during high flows. In September 2013 a base flow assessment at each sample site was conducted. We measure specific electrical conductivity (EC), secchi/transparency tube, turbidity, and TSS.


Synoptic 1- Snow Melt (4/11/2011)
Synoptic 2- Snow Melt (3/20/2012)
Synoptic 3- Rain Event (5/24/2012)
Synoptic 4- Baseflow (9/16/2013)

Synoptic Sampling

Geomorphology of Amity Creek

There are two projects in progress by graduate students under the direction of Dr. Karen Gran, Geology Dept at UM-Duluth. The first involves using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to assess how much sediment is washed into the stream from eight eroding banks. Learn more here.

The other involves developing and testing a GIS model to identify erosion hotspots in the watershed using newly available higher resolution Lidar elevation (DEM) data and newly released NRCS SSURGO soils data. Learn more here.

Download a pdf of the two theses: Neitzel, Grant, 2013 and Wick, Molly, 2013, here.

Contact Dr. Gran for more information.


Upper Amity Hydrology

Another of Dr. Gran's graduate students is assessing the relative importance of seasonal groundwater flow to the Amity Creek water budget.

Project in progress 1/2014


Amity Creek Water Quality, Fish and Macroinvertebrates

Fish, benthic macroinvertebrate, periphyton, and other habitat survey data have been collected from 2005-2012. 


Mapping Watershed Stressors

A number of human activities within watersheds can affect stream health. GIS allows the mapping of those activities to assess their spatial distribution and extent. One method used to investigate how land cover/land use impact water quality is though the development of stressor gradients. These gradients can be based on as few as one component, e.g., percent impervious surface, to hundreds of components.

stressor map

Estimating stream sediment, mercury and nutrient loads (2004-present )

This project focuses on identifying three problems north shore streams have due to development in their watersheds:

This study will determine if the continuous, in-stream data collected over the past ten years in the Duluth urban streams can be used to estimate sediment, nutrient and mercury loads, and compare them to commonly used stream loading models. With this baseline data, scientists can measure changes in the problem areas over time and hopefully measure improvements in the watershed.  Amity has been intensively monitored for flow, with additional manual sampling for water quality variables by MPCA since 2002.

Weber Initiative Projects

Survey of Road Crossings

Maps have been generated showing all the road-stream intersections in the watershed. These are sites where roadway water carrying sediment and other pollutants is often dumped directly into streams. There are enough of these that non-conventional techniques to disperse the runoff might yield significant improvement. Click here for the interactive map. It is important to generate similar maps for all of the north shore trout streams that are impaired or threatened.

Amity Creek Sediment and Erosion Reconnaissance (2009)

This survey wased used to prioritize specific restoration activities in the Amity watershed. South St. Louis SWCD [138 KB pdf file]

Photo walk of Amity Creek (2005 and 2006)

On several dates in 2005 and 2006, NRRI, Sea Grant and City staff walked large sections of Amity Creek and photographed potential problem areas that appear likely to generate excessive suspended sediments and turbidity. Here are some results from these surveys.