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Browse History: Rappahannock River (2011)

Chesapeake Bay - Reporting Region Summary:



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Scores & Conceptual Diagram


Bay Health Index
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon
36%
D+
Rappahannock River: 2011

Poor ecosystem health. Significant declines in the aquatic grasses score changed the overall grade from a C- to a D+. Other indicators showed minimal changes.
  • Water quality: Dissolved oxygen scores slightly declined in 2011, to moderately good condition (76%). Both chlorophyll a and water clarity scores slightly improved in 2011, 21% and 7% respectively. The Rappahannock River was the only region where water clarity scores improved in 2011.
  • Biotic indicators: Aquatic grasses scores dramatically decreased in 2011 to 41% from 83% in 2010. Benthic community condition increased slightly, remaining in poor condition, while phytoplankton community condition remained steady in moderate condition.

Score Legend
Locator Map
  Index/Indicator Score     Index/Indicator Score
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Chlorophyll a
21%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Aquatic grasses
41%
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Dissolved oxygen
76%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity
24%
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Water clarity
7%
  Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Phytoplankton Index of Biotic Integrity
47%
 
Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity Icon Water Quality Index
35%
  Biotic Index Icon Biotic Index
37%
 

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Dynamic Conceptual Diagram

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Region Info

The Rappahannock River watershed drains approximately 2,700 square miles of land. The river itself begins in the Blue Ridge Mountains and flows for 185 miles, becoming tidal near Fredericksburg. Major bodies of water include the Rapidan, the Robinson, and the Corrotoman Rivers. The majority of the Rappahannock watershed is forested, with agriculture/farming accounting for a third of the land use. Major cities in the watershed include Fredericksburg, Culpeper, Falmouth, Orange, and Tappahannock. The census population for 2000 in the watershed was 241,000. (Based on information in Dauer, et al., 2005).

rappahannock_riverconceptual diagram.png

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