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Browse History: James River (2011)

Chesapeake Bay - Reporting Region Summary:

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Scores & Conceptual Diagram

Bay Health Index
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon
James River: 2011

Poor ecosystem health. The phytoplankton and benthic communities were notably worse than 2010, bringing the overall grade down from a C in 2010 to a D+ in 2011.
  • Water quality: Dissolved oxygen remained quite high (92%), which is consistent with scores from previous years. Water clarity is still in the very poor range, and decreased slightly from 2010 levels. Chlorophyll a decreased from 57% in 2010 to 50% in 2011, but remains within its normal range.
  • Biotic indicators: Aquatic grasses distribution has been gradually improving since 2002, and 2011’s score was the highest on record for this region (50%). Benthic community condition decreased sharply, scoring 18% in 2011, the lowest score on record and a decline of 42% since 2010. Phytoplankton community scores decreased to very poor condition.

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 James River watershed drains approximately 10,000 square miles of land. The river begins in the Allegheny Mountains, where it is formed by the confluence of the Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers and flows approximately 340 miles to the Chesapeake Bay. Sub-tributaries include the Appomattox, Chickahominy, and Elizabeth Rivers. Land use within the watershed is predominantly forest, with agriculture/farming accounting for approximately one-fifth of land use. Major cities in the watershed include Richmond and Hampton Roads. The census population for 2000 in the watershed was over 2,500,000 people. Based on information in Dauer, et al., 2003 and the James River Association.

james_riverconceptual diagram.png

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