Description: Urban areas experience the loss of natural stream channels through conversion to artificial conveyances. This process tends to target headwater and other low order streams. The purpose of this study is to determine the patterns of stream loss in Denton, Texas, and explore the regulatory structure that manages these streams. Historic and current maps and stream data are used to map Denton's streams and categorize them according to their vertical connectivity as: 1) "intact", streams that are open to the atmosphere and connect to groundwater; 2) "concrete", channelized streams open to the atmosphere but cut off from groundwater; and 3) "buried", streams disconnected from the atmosphere and groundwater. A review of federal, state, and local regulatory codes and interviews with local government officials and other stakeholders elucidates stream management in Denton. Results from these analyses reveal high rates of stream loss in the urban center with low rates overall. The federal Clean Water Act and the local Environmentally Sensitive Areas code serve as the primary protective measures for natural streams. These regulations discourage stream impacts through expensive and complex permitting requirements. However the policies allow minor impacts which may cause cumulative effects. This study aims to inform future policy-making decisions and contribute to the knowledge of the environmental regulation of streams.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Rowen, Zachary