Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Summer 7-2010


Abstract The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) suspect that causeways have a negative impact on river ecology both when installed and when removed. The Nebraska Department of Roads routinely uses causeways as a tool in the construction and repair of bridges. Although research has not been conducted on the impact of causeway building and removal data has been collected about the impact of dams, causeways, etc. on estuaries. This data is considered subjective and authors often cite sampling methods as a source of error. Currently there are no widely used handheld sampling methods that are used to take soil profiles of both sandbar and riverbeds. The goal of this study was to test the utility of 5 sampling methods to determine which would be best suited to study the impact of causeway building and removal. A 2 inch diameter, tapered end probe was determined to perform best of all methods studied with a percentage of recovered sediment of 92.3% for sandbar and 97% in stream. If the opportunity to continue this study presented itself the 2 inch tapered end probe could be improved by obtaining a “butterfly”, or one-way valve that would allow sediment to pass when the probe is pushed into the ground but would close upon retrieval.