Ecological Integrity At Risk for the Cadron Creek Watershed in Arkansas Essay

Ecological Integrity At Risk for the Cadron Creek Watershed in Arkansas Essay

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The Cadron Creek watershed covers approximately 775 square miles and is composed mostly of forests (48%) and grassland (37%). However, a pending permit, AR0052086C, would allow a centralized waste treatment facility to discharge, recycled fracking fluid waste waters into an unnamed tributary located within the Cadron Creek watershed. This unnamed tributary flows directly into Linn Creek, which would then feed into the north fork of the Cadron and eventually into the Arkansas river (ADEQ 2013). The Cadron Creek, located within the Arkansas river basin, is listed by the US Army Corps of Engineers as an extraordinary resource water body or ERWB (USACE 2013). ERWBs are important, because they satisfy a broad range of socio-economic, cultural, and environmental values which benefit both humans and the environment. ERWBs can help facilitate re-entry into nature, because of their scenic beauty, recreation potential, and their ecological and scientific values which can provide educational opportunities for the public. For this project, a suite of water quality metrics were collected from confluences and bridge crossings of headwater streams located within the Cadron Creek watershed. These water quality metrics included dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and specific conductivity.
4. Literature Review:
Headwater streams are the peripheral reaches of larger river networks that make up between 50-70% of total reach length within the United States (Fritz et. al 2008). Headwater streams are a major component of river networks and are composed of small swales, creeks, and streams, which form the building blocks for large river and lakes. Headwater streams are very influential on the overall health of aquatic ecosystems, because they provide n...

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...ydraulic fracturing. During Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, holes are drilled into shale rock formations, deep beneath the earth's surface and injected with more than a million gallons of pressurized fracking fluid. This process creates small fissures within the rock layers that are held open by the sand particles, allowing the natural gas to vacate from the well (10). However, there is much debate over the long-term vitality and validity of the use of unconventional gas as a solution to the United States dependency on foreign oil. Much of this debate stems from what some have coined as the "exploration treadmill", the rate at which new plays must be added to production, in order to maintain a flat line and or growing (carbon)
The fracking fluid itself is mostly composed of water, sand, and small trace amounts of other chemicals, such as petroleum distillates.

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