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Browse History: Upper Eastern Shore (2010)

Chesapeake Bay - Reporting Region Summary:

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Bay Health Index
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon
Upper Eastern Shore: 2010

Poor ecosystem health. While water quality indicators declined, biotic indicators stayed the same. Despite last year's improvement, this region's health seems to be declining.
  • Water quality: All three indicators declined in score this year. Water clarity, which tends to be variable between years in this region, was very poor, scoring 8%. Chlorophyll a scores were also very poor (14%), which is the lowest score seen in this region since 2003. Dissolved oxygen, while lower than last year, was moderately good (78%), which is consistent with scores over the entire period of record.
  • Biotic indicators: All three indicators remained steady in 2010. Benthic community condition and aquatic grasses remain in poor condition (28% and 29%, respectively), and phytoplankton community condition is still very poor (16%), although monitoring has only been conducted in this region since 2007.

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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Region Info

The Upper Eastern Shore watershed drains approximately 1,300 square miles of land. This area includes portions of Cecil, Queen Anne's, and Talbot Counties and all of Kent County. Major bodies of water include the Chester, Elk, Bohemia, Sassafras, and Northeast Rivers, and Eastern Bay. Almost half of the land in the Upper Eastern Shore watershed is agricultural, and a third of the land is covered in forest. Major towns in the area include Elkton, Chestertown, Grasonville, Centreville, and North East. Census population for the watershed in 2000 was 125,000. There are eight major wastewater treatment plants in the watershed. (Based on MD DNR Tributary Strategy Report by Aadland et al., 2007 and updated 2000 land use classifications).

upper_eastern_shoreconceptual diagram.png

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