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Browse History: Upper Western Shore (2010)

Chesapeake Bay - Reporting Region Summary:

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Scores & Conceptual Diagram

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

Moderate ecosystem health. For the first time since 2007, this is not the highest ranked region. Benthic community scores dropped sharply, and very poor water clarity persists in this region.
  • Water quality: Dissolved oxygen has historically been very good in this region. In 2010, the dissolved oxygen score was 100% for the eighth year in a row. In contrast, the 2010 water clarity score (3%) was very poor, which is consistent with the last four years. Chlorophyll a scores increased in 2010, up to 32% from 17% in 2009. Despite the increase, this score is still indicative of poor chlorophyll a conditions.
  • Biotic indicators: Benthic community condition scores declined dramatically in 2010, to 25% from 75% in 2009. This indicator appears to be highly variable in this region. Aquatic grasses scores also declined in 2010, but are still moderately good (72%). No phytoplankton community condition monitoring is conducted 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 Upper Western Shore watershed drains approximately 685 square miles of land. This area includes all of Harford County and portions of Carroll, Baltimore, and Cecil Counties. Larger bodies of water in the watershed include the Bush River, Gunpowder River, and Middle River. Land use in the region is approximately half forest, one-quarter urban, and one-quarter agriculture. Major towns in the area include Bel Air, Carney, Middle River, Edgewood, and Perry Hill. Census population from 2000 for the basin was 487,000. There are seven major wastewater treatment plants in the area. (Based on MD DNR Tributary Strategy Report by Karrh et al., 2007 and updated 2000 land use classifications).

upper_western_shoreconceptual diagram.png

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