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Browse History: Lower Eastern Shore (Tangier) (2010)

Chesapeake Bay - Reporting Region Summary:

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Scores & Conceptual Diagram

Bay Health Index
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon
Lower Eastern Shore (Tangier): 2010

Moderately poor ecosystem health. Water clarity scores decreased after several years of improvement. There is no phytoplankton community score for this region.
  • Water quality: All three indicators declined in 2010, after increasing the previous year. Chlorophyll a scores saw the greatest decrease, from 45% in 2009 to 16% in 2010. Water clarity scores were very poor, and fell 14% following two consecutive years of improvement.
  • Biotic indicators: Benthic community conditions continued to improve after a sharp decline in 2007, scoring 57% in 2010—the highest score since 2006. Aquatic grasses declined slightly, and are still below the maximum recorded in 2002. Phytoplankton community condition is not measured in this region.

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
Insufficient data
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 Lower Eastern Shore Region drains approximately 2,200 square miles of land. This area includes portions of Wicomico and Caroline Counties, as well as Dorchester, Somerset, and Worcester Counties. The Lower Eastern Shore is considered a Coastal Plain province and includes several rivers such as the Nanticoke, Wicomico, and Pocomoke. These rivers flow into Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds, a unique area formed by a string of islands including Bloodsworth, South Marsh, and Smith Islands. The Lower Eastern Shore is largely covered in forested land, followed by agriculture. Major metropolitan areas include Salisbury, Princess Anne, Pocomoke City, Snow Hill, and Crisfield in Maryland, and Laurel and Seaford in Delaware. The 2000 census population for the watershed was 139,000 people in Maryland. There are nine major wastewater treatment plants in the Maryland portion of the watershed, and four in Delaware. (Based on MD DNR Tributary Strategy Report by Aadland et al., 2007 and updated 2000 land use classifications).

lower_eastern_shoreconceptual diagram.png

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