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A. Pervasive disturbances: The most common disturbances based on total stream length in a given region. Top five overall most pervasive disturbances to all stream reaches, regardless of stream size and across all spatial scales (ranked highest first): Total excessive (anthropogenic or man caused) sediment yield Impervious surface cover Road crossing density Population density Pasture and hay land use Top three most pervasive disturbances to creeks (<100 km 2 watersheds) across all spatial scales : Total excessive sediment yield Impervious (hard) surface cover Road crossing density Top three most pervasive disturbances to rivers (>100 km 2 watersheds) across all spatial scales: Upstream dam density...
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Partnerships - Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership, Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership, and Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership Almost 10,000 ft (over 15,000 plantings) of native mangrove and salt marsh plants, as well as oyster shells were put in the Atlantic-side estuaries of Florida. These plantings helped to stabilize sediment and shoreline, improve water clarity, provide nesting areas for birds such as the Roseate Spoonbill, and provide habitat for species such as Red Drum, Tarpon, Mangrove Snapper, and snook. In addition, five acres of invasive Brazilian pepper trees were removed to allow for native plantings. Fish Habitat Partnerships provided funding for: the creation of 750 acres of wetland,...
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Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville rank in the top 50 largest cities in the nation by area. Atlanta and New Orleans are the only other top 50 cities in the Eastern Gulf States region. These four Florida urban centers anchor what is known as the Florida Megaregion, one of eleven recognized in the United States. New Orleans and Baton Rouge are part of the Gulf Coast Megaregion. The growing urban sprawl throughout the Gulf States leads to increasing areas of impervious surface, which results in altered water flows and more urban runoff that transports high levels of nutrients and pollution to aquatic resources. For example in central Mississippi, pathogens, litter/trash, nutrients, and pesticides from increasing...
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Partnerships - Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership and Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership Both the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) and Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership (ACFHP) supported marsh restoration/living shoreline projects on the Tolomato River in the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR) near St. Augustine, Florida. These projects are located on the southern portion of the Guana Peninsula and are creating a contiguous swath of restored marsh that is: improving and enhancing fish habitat; preventing shoreline erosion; and fostering opportunities for community stewardship and involvement that will provide benefits for years to come. The...
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The Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus ssp. desotoi) as the name implies lives in the estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico but migrates up coastal rivers to spawn (anadromous). It is found in rivers from spring until fall and in the Gulf during the winter. It feeds heavily while in the Gulf, but adults eat very little (or not at all) while in the rivers. The species declined dramatically after the late 1800s. It fell victim to overharvest for its meat and roe, dam construction, and dredging activities. The largest population is currently in the Suwannee River in Florida.
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The Alabama Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus suttkusi) has suffered from habitat loss and fragmentation caused by dredging for navigation, peaking hydropower projects, and dam construction. This species requires clean hard substrate with stable daily flows for spawning, and needs connected river reaches for long-distance spawning migrations. Both of these needs have been disrupted by human activities in their range. This fish has disappeared from about 85 percent of its historic range in the Alabama and Tombigbee River systems. The Alabama Sturgeon was placed on the endangered species list in 2000.
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The landscape of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico States ranges from the plateaus and highlands of northern Alabama to the coastal marshes along the Gulf, with the dominant inland forest type being pine and oak forests. This variety of habitats allows for a high diversity of fish species as evidenced by Alabama alone being home to more than 450 fish species. Over 64 percent of the inland fish habitat of Eastern Gulf Coast states is estimated to be at low or very low risk of degradation. While only 19 percent of the stream area in this region was estimated to be at high or very high risk, factors that threaten aquatic resources in the region are diverse and significant areas have been substantially altered as a result...
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Historical pictures and accounts document the substantial decline of Alligator Gar ( Atractosteus spatula) throughout its range. A number of factors likely contributed to the decline, including angler overharvest and habitat loss resulting from dredging and damming southern rivers. Alligator Gar was a highly sought sport and commercial fish by some but was targeted for eradication or control by others as a “trash fish.” Studies in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have shown that the Alligator Gar is susceptible to overfishing. It has been classified as rare in Missouri, threatened in Illinois, and endangered in Arkansas and Kentucky, and is expected to soon to be classified as endangered in Tennessee. Populations...
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Map of the risk of current fish habitat degradation of inland streams of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico States.
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Mississippi designated the Largemouth Bass as the official State fish in 1974, and it is the State freshwater fish in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. The Pascagoula River is a unique resource because it is the only nearly completely free flowing (undammed) river in the region. With more than 10 cubic kilometers (2.4 cu mi) of water flowing per year into the Gulf of Mexico, it is the largest (by volume) undammed river in the contiguous 48 States. In fact, it is also the largest undammed river in the warm, humid region (Köppen climate classification zone), with southeastern Brazil claiming the second and third largest rivers in the climate zone. As a result, there continues to be a concerted effort to prevent dam construction...
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Agriculture is the primary land use in these states. A wide variety of row crops are grown throughout the region and there is also a substantial amount of managed industrial forests. Dominant crops are soybeans and corn in Louisiana, peanuts and cotton in Mississippi and Alabama, and citrus and sugarcane in Florida. Cattle farms are common in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Rice is a major commodity in Louisiana and Mississippi. Aquaculture is also a significant practice in all four states and can alter wetland habitat, water flow patterns, and discharges nutrients into these systems. Phosphate mining (for fertilizer) in wetland areas throughout Florida has interrupted natural water flow and breaks in retention...
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The Bluenose Shiner (Pteronotropis welaka) inhabits a variety of habitats from backwaters and swamps to spring-run streams. It is often found in deep pools with aquatic vegetation. Population losses have been observed where either aquatic or streamside vegetation was removed. Other threats include changes in water quality and quantity, impoundments, dredging, urbanization, and both point source and non-point source pollution.
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Partnership - Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership A population of the Gulf Coast strain (GCS) of Walleye ( Stizostedion vitreum) in Mackeys Creek, a headwater stream of the Tombigbee River, had been in decline since the 1970s. Due to downstream modifications of the stream channel, the stream bank had washed out and excessive sedimentation (a key process that forms and controls fish habitat) has degraded habitat and reduced water quality, which did not support spawning or juveniles. Additionally, the existing habitat compromised a number of native species including the Crystal Darter, Alabama Hog Sucker, Southern Sand Darter, Tombigbee Darter, Rock Darter, Freckled Darter, and Spotted Bass. The Southeast...


    map background search result map search result map Eastern Gulf of Mexico States - Risk of Current Fish Habitat Degradation Map Eastern Gulf of Mexico States - Tolomato River Coastal Restoration Project, Florida Habitat Trouble for Alligator Gar in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Description of Agriculture as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Description of Urban Land Use as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Most Pervasive and Severe Disturbances for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Facts About Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Habitat Trouble for Alabama Sturgeon in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States ​Habitat Trouble for Bluenose Shiner in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Summary of Scientific Findings for Eastern Gulf of Mexico States ​Habitat Trouble for Gulf Sturgeon in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Eastern Gulf of Mexico States - Risk of Current Fish Habitat Degradation Map Eastern Gulf of Mexico States - Tolomato River Coastal Restoration Project, Florida Habitat Trouble for Alligator Gar in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Description of Agriculture as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Description of Urban Land Use as a Human Activity Affecting Fish Habitat in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Most Pervasive and Severe Disturbances for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Facts About Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Habitat Trouble for Alabama Sturgeon in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States ​Habitat Trouble for Bluenose Shiner in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Summary of Scientific Findings for Eastern Gulf of Mexico States ​Habitat Trouble for Gulf Sturgeon in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico States