Cumulative Impact Study

This study aims to examine the cumulative effects of activities and practices in the Lower Platter River Corridor over time and their impact on the terrestrial and aquatic habitats of the Platte River.

Phase I

Scope development was completed in August 2005.

Phase II

Data Acquisition was the focus of Phase ll. Compiling aerial photos and transect data for six time periods (1850, 1938, 1950's, 1970's, 1993, and 2003) with land-use classification lead to a hydrologic study looking at changes in the river over time and the development of an online internet mapping service to access the GIS information. A final report on the Cumulative Impact Study (CIS), Phase II was completed September, 2008.

For access to the CIS interactive GIS program, click here.

Phase III

Prediction Model Development: Meetings for the development of a Conceptual Ecological Model are continuously being held throughout Phase III to identify missing information needed to: determine the character of the river, assess threats to endangered and threatened species, identify the processes of concern, and prioritize research and management actions. A select group of representatives of UNL, USFWS, USACE, USGS, NGPC, and the NRDs continue to identify components of the conceptual model and identify "knowns" and "gaps" as far as research is concerned. In spring of 2011, this group of representives and the LPRCA made significant head way in alliterating the basic components of the river's system and how they are related to one another.

Research: Phase III research has focused on water flow and how it affects sediment transfer. Using data tools from Phase II and Phase III, we can identify how water flow and sediment changes could affect the amount of habitat for threatened and endangered species. The USGS, in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers, spent the summer of 2010 collecting sediment samples and GIS cross-sections of the river, and then conducted a sediment budget analysis. Draft results of their studies, entitled "Sediment Samples and Channel-Geometry Data, Lower Platte River Watershed in Nebraska, 2010" and "Geomorphic Classification and Evaluation of Channel Width and Emergent Sandbar Habitat Relationships on the Lower Platte River, Nebraska", are available and can be viewed via the link below. The sediment budget analysis was completed by USGS and the Corps of Engineers in 2014. The USGS report can be found below or in the Publications section of the website. A final full report of all 3 phases of the CIS is expected in 2015.

Future of the CIS: Items identified as priorities for the next phase of the CIS include: a 3-year Sandbar Monitoring study with USGS; a full reconnaissance study of bank stabilization along the Lower Platte; and continued development of the conceptual model.

Cumulative Impact Study reports