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Browse History: Patuxent River (2011)

Chesapeake Bay - Reporting Region Summary:



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Scores & Conceptual Diagram


Bay Health Index
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon
19%
F
Patuxent River: 2011

Very poor ecosystem health. Declines in dissolved oxygen and phytoplankton community brought the overall grade to an F.*

*The aquatic grass score for this region is an estimate based on partial 2010 and 2011 data.
  • Water quality: Chlorophyll a scores slightly increased in 2011, scoring 11%, which is still a very poor score. Water clarity remained very poor, scoring 0%, which is the lowest seen during the entire period of record. Dissolved oxygen scores declined for the second year in a row, dropping to a moderate score (53%).
  • Biotic indicators: Phytoplankton community condition scores decreased to 3% in 2011, to a very poor score. Overall, phytoplankton community condition continues to be variable over time. Benthic community condition scores increased (32%), but are still in poor condition. Aquatic grasses remained very poor. Aquatic grasses score was estimated, see Methods tab for more information.

Score Legend
Locator Map
  Index/Indicator Score     Index/Indicator Score
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Chlorophyll a
11%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Aquatic grasses
12%
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Dissolved oxygen
53%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity
32%
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Water clarity
0%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Phytoplankton Index of Biotic Integrity
3%
 
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Water Quality Index
21%
  Biotic Index Icon Biotic Index
16%
 

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Dynamic Conceptual Diagram

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Region Info

The Patuxent River watershed drains approximately 900 square miles of land. This area includes portions of St. Mary's, Calvert, Charles, Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Howard, and Montgomery Counties. Three main streams drain into the upper Patuxent River: the Little Patuxent, which drains much of the newly urbanized area of Columbia; the Middle Patuxent, which drains agricultural lands in the northern part of its drainage and the outer suburban areas of Columbia in the southern part of its watershed; and the (upper) Patuxent River, which has remained primarily agricultural. Land use in the watershed is mainly forest, with significant urban and agriculture development. Two large metropolitan areas, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., border the Patuxent River, and the watershed has gone through significant suburban development in the past few decades. Columbia and Laurel have developed along the Interstate 95 corridor, which bisects the upper half of the watershed. The 2000 census population for the watershed was 18,000 people. (Based on MD DNR Tributary Strategy Report by Karrh et al., 2007 and updated 2000 land use classifications).

patuxent_riverconceptual diagram.png

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