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Browse History: Lower Eastern Shore (Tangier) (2011)

Chesapeake Bay - Reporting Region Summary:



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Scores & Conceptual Diagram


Bay Health Index
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon
37%
D+
Lower Eastern Shore (Tangier): 2011

Poor ecosystem health. While small improvements occurred in dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll a scores, benthic community declined. This region continues to bounce between C and D grades.
  • Water quality: Two of the three indicators improved in 2011; dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll a (87% and 22% respectively). Chlorophyll a condition increased to poor condition from very poor in 2010, but this indicator shows high variability in the Lower Eastern Shore. Water clarity scores continued to decline, from 12% in 2010 to 7% in 2011, a very poor score. 
  • Biotic indicators: Benthic community conditions declined this year after increasing for the previous three years. Benthic community scores decreased from 57% in 2010 to 44% in 2011, a moderately poor score. Aquatic grasses declined by 6% in 2011, with a poor score (28%). 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
22%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Aquatic grasses
28%
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Dissolved oxygen
87%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity
44%
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Water clarity
7%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Phytoplankton Index of Biotic Integrity
NA
 
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Water Quality Index
39%
  Biotic Index Icon Biotic Index
36%
 

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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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