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Browse History: Potomac River (2009)

Chesapeake Bay - Reporting Region Summary:

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Bay Health Index
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon
Potomac River: 2009

Moderate ecosystem health. Slight improvement in overall health due to improvements in chlorophyll a, water clarity, and benthic and phytoplankton community conditions.
  • Water quality: Water clarity scores improved to 25% in 2009 (from 18% in 2008), reaching the highest level since 2002. Chlorophyll a and dissolved oxygen scores remained relatively steady compared to historical trends at 42 and 72%, respectively.
  • Biotic indicators: The benthic community condition score was 44% for 2009, the highest it has been since monitoring of this indicator began in 1996. Phytoplankton community condition also improved to 43%, which is the highest score since 1993. However, aquatic grasses continue to decline, dropping to 46% from 62% in 2005.

Score Legend
Locator Map
  Index/Indicator Score     Index/Indicator Score
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Chlorophyll a
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Aquatic grasses
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Dissolved oxygen
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Water clarity
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Phytoplankton Index of Biotic Integrity
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Water Quality Index
  Biotic Index Icon Biotic Index

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Dynamic Conceptual Diagram

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Region Info

The Potomac River watershed drains approximately 14,670 square miles of land, covering four states. Major bodies of water in the area include the Potomac, Anacostia, Cacapon, Monocacy, the North Branch, the South Branch, the Occoquan, and the Shenandoah Rivers. The Potomac River flows over 383 miles from Fairfax Stone, West Virginia to Point Lookout, Maryland. Major cities in the watershed include Washington, D.C, Bethesda, Cumberland, Frederick, Gettysburg and Alexandria. Forest is the major land use, followed by agriculture. The 2000 census population of the watershed was approximately 5.35 million. Washington, D.C. alone had 3.7 million people (2000 census). Based on information available at the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin website.

potomac_riverconceptual diagram.png

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