Hawkins Creek Watershed (New York)

Watershed Characteristics

Hawkins Creek

The Hawkins Creek Watershed is located St. Lawrence County, New York near Antwerp. It includes Hawkins Creek, Shingle Creek, and Matoon Creek. The terrain throughout the watershed varies from flat wetlands to rolling/steep grades with exposed rocks.

Roughly 46 percent of the watershed is comprised of pasture, accounting for the largest portion of the watershed dedicated to a single use. 29 percent of the watershed is made up of deciduous forest. Other significant portions of land use within the watershed include open space/park, shrub, grassland, and cropland.

The main channel of Hawkins Creek is approximately 5.8 miles long; the midsection of which indicated higher erosion potential adjacent to the channel. Stream channels do not appear to be a source of sediment supply, and a number of measures are being used to address erosion and sedimentation concerns including contour plowing, grass buffer zones, and wooded riparian zones.

Modeling Approach

The Hawkins Creek Sediment Transport Analysis and Regional Training (START) Assessment was used to demonstrate the use of web-based tools for determining potential areas of erosion and sediment supply and transport within the watershed.

Field reconnaissance site locations and highway system.

The START Assessment used the High Impact Targeting (HIT) tool, the Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment Low Impact Development (L-THIA LID) tool, and the web-based Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model. Each tool was used independently of the others and provided results used to assist in prioritizing areas of erosion potential.

HIT is a decision support tool for multi-scale prioritization of agricultural areas that combines an erosion model and a sediment delivery model to calculate annual erosion and sediment loading in watersheds.

L-THIA LID is a decision support tool that evaluates the benefits of low-impact development practices by producing existing runoff depth and volume along with nonpoint source pollution loading.

The WEPP Watershed Online GIS Interface is a small-watershed scale model developed to quantify the impact of land management practices in watersheds and identifying problematic areas.

Additionally, field reconnaissance was used to better understand watershed characteristics and allowed researchers to cover areas not included in the online tools. Results from the online tools and field reconnaissance were overlaid on a watershed map.

Use and Application

Field observations overlaid on WEPP results.

The purpose of this START Assessment was to demonstrate the use of the available online tools and provide a basis for further studies of watersheds. The assessment was prepared for the St. Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District in Canton, New York.

Areas of concern regarding potential of erosion and sediment supply locations were identified from the results of the assessment. The online tools and procedures described in this assessment can be used to define areas of potential erosion and to compare results of certain BMPs within the watershed.

The tools used in this assessment are available to local stakeholders to evaluate management options for the watershed with the overall goal of reducing the loading of sediments and pollutants to tributaries in order to enhance Great Lakes water quality, delist Areas of Concern, and reduce the need for navigation dredging.

Click here to view the full assessment.

Project Partners

Contact Information

Mike Voorhees
USACE, Buffalo District
1776 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14207
Phone: (716) 879-4488