Catalpa Creek is a small stream that flows through the Mississippi State University campus, past the MSU Veterinary School facility, several agricultural research pastures, and the aquaculture research facility before ultimately draining into Tibbee Creek, which serves as a tributary to the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The section of Catalpa Creek that flows past the MSU Veterinary School is prone to high flows and flash floods during heavy rain events. The stream can also receive high volumes of impervious surface run-off and drain overflows from the vet school facility. These disturbance events and the potential for point- and non-point-source contaminants raises many concerns when discussing the health of the stream.
This project is a collaboration between members of the MSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CCE) and myself to investigate the health of Catalpa Creek and evaluate any mitigation needs. My role in this collaboration is, primarily, to serve as the expert in stream ecology and aquatic macroinvertebrates. We are using standard methods to sample and evaluate macroinvertebrate communities to help assess stream health. In addition to macroinvertebrate sampling, members of the MSU CEE are monitoring water quality.
This project has been a joint effort from faculty, research associates, graduate and undergraduate students, and volunteers. The ultimate goal of this project is to maintain and/or restore the integrity of Catalpa Creek and create a wetland education center in this area.
If you are interested in this project, you can find more information from one of the collaborators here.