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Browse History: Patapsco and Back Rivers (2011)

Chesapeake Bay - Reporting Region Summary:



  Estuary Selection Map

Scores & Conceptual Diagram


Bay Health Index
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon
23%
D-
Patapsco and Back Rivers: 2011

Poor ecosystem health. Both phytoplankton and benthic community scores considerably improved compared to 2010, which improved the overall grade to a D-.
  • Water quality: Over the past 20+ years, water quality indicators have been consistently poor in this region. In 2011, water clarity and chlorophyll a both scored 0% (meaning conditions never exceeded the threshold levels) for the seventh year in a row. Water clarity has scored 0% since 2000. The dissolved oxygen score in 2011 was 46%, and declined to the lowest dissolved oxygen score for all regions.
  • Biotic indicators: Aquatic grasses were in very poor condition (1%), which is consistent with results during the entire period of record, with the exception of a short two-year period between 2004 and 2005, when the score increased to 72%. Benthic and phytoplankton community condition tend to vary widely from year to year in this region. In 2011, the phytoplankton community condition score (33%) increased to the highest score since 1993 (45%), while the benthic community condition score also increased to 56% in 2011 from 45% in 2010. 

Score Legend
Locator Map
  Index/Indicator Score     Index/Indicator Score
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Chlorophyll a
0%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Aquatic grasses
1%
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Dissolved oxygen
46%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity
56%
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Water clarity
0%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Phytoplankton Index of Biotic Integrity
33%
 
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Water Quality Index
15%
  Biotic Index Icon Biotic Index
30%
 

Excel Spreadsheet

Dynamic Conceptual Diagram

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Region Info

The Patapsco and Back Rivers watershed drains 630 square miles. This area includes Baltimore, and portions of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, and Howard Counties. The area is very populated and urbanized. The census population in 2000 for the watershed was 1,480,000. Baltimore is the largest city in the watershed, with suburbs of the city extending out from it in every direction. Other large cities include Westminster, Ellicott City, Towson, and Glen Burnie. 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).

patapsco_back_riversconceptual diagram.png

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