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Browse History: Lower Western Shore (MD) (2011)

Chesapeake Bay - Reporting Region Summary:

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Scores & Conceptual Diagram

Bay Health Index
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon
Lower Western Shore (MD): 2011

Poor ecosystem health. Greatest improvement from 2010 (F to D). Strong scores in phytoplankton and benthic communities offset small declines in dissolved oxygen.
  • Water quality: Water clarity has been consistently very poor in this region. In 2011, water clarity scored 0% for the fourth consecutive year, and for the ninth year out of the past ten. Both chlorophyll a and dissolved oxygen declined for the second year in a row.
  • Biotic indicators: Two of the three indicators greatly increased in 2011; phytoplankton community and benthic community. Phytoplankton community scores increased from 13% in 2010 to 29% in 2011, the highest score recorded since monitoring began in 2007. Benthic community condition sharply increased to 75% in 2011 from 0% in 2010, also the highest score ever recorded. Aquatic grasses remained steady at 11%, a very poor score.

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 Lower Western Shore watershed drains approximately 300 square miles of land in Anne Arundel and Calvert Counties. The largest bodies of water in the watershed are the Magothy, Severn, South, Rhode, and West Rivers. Due to low elevation, surface waters often generally flow slowly through winding trails, and sometimes through wetlands before reaching the Bay. The Lower Western Shore is largely forested, with urban development the second largest land use. Major cities in the area include Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, and Chesapeake Beach. The census population for 2000 for the basin was 278,000 people. There are seven major wastewater treatment plants in the watershed. (Based on MD DNR Tributary Strategy Report by Karrh et al., 2007 and updated 2000 land use classifications).

lower_western_shoreconceptual diagram.png

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