Matt Allen defends his thesis on impairments of Little Flower Creek
On July 10, 2020, graduate student Matt Allen successfully defended his Master’s thesis, titled “Public and environmental health restoration of the Little Flower Creek watershed, Muskegon County, Michigan”. His thesis committee consisted of Drs. Rick Rediske (chair), Eric Snyder, Sean Woznicki, and James McNair.
Matt’s thesis focused on the coldwater fishery and E. coli impairments in the Little Flower Creek watershed, a small coastal Lake Michigan tributary in northwest Muskegon County, MI. His studies examined 1) how multiple stressors affect the fish and benthic macroinvertebrate communities in Little Flower Creek and 2) how microbial source tracking and E. coli transport can be used in the SWAT model to identify critical areas of fecal contamination. Field surveys identified that Little Flower Creek’s coldwater fishery status is impaired due to flow instability impacts on stream habitat. In order to remove this impairment, improvements to landscape management practices and physical stream habitat restoration will be required. Similarly, the SWAT model identified critical areas in the watershed for the restoration of water quality. These studies will be used by the Little Flower Creek Watershed Partnership to help managers make informed decisions and to educate stakeholders.
After submitting his final thesis documents, Matt plans to continue to work as an advocate for Michigan’s water resources through his continued involvement in the local fly fishing and natural resource communities. He is pursuing a job in the aquatic science field.
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