Small Streams: The Heart and Soul of Waterways

300 225 Stroud Water Research Center

When it comes to water quality, size is definitely not everything. Listen up for the big impact of small streams.

Tree-lined streams aren’t just pretty — healthy trees also make for healthier streams. How’s that, you ask?

A review of more than 200 studies about streams led Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., director and senior research scientist of Pennsylvania’s Stroud Water Research Center, to an intriguing conclusion.

“If we had 100 feet of forest on either side of any given stream, we would be able to put that stream in a much better condition to support wildlife, to be swimmable, to be fishable — but also to provide the ecosystem services that we desperately need.”

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