Upstream land use affects water quality in Maryland's Coastal Bays
Coastal lagoon ecosystems across the Delmarva Peninsula are rapidly evolving due to changing land use patterns and shifts towards intensive agriculture, particularly poultry production, and intensive rural-residential development. These changes in the coastal lagoon seascape are especially evident in the northern Coastal Bays watershed of St. Martin River. This region is intensely developed in areas such as the Ocean Pines canal community, is composed of a high percentage of crop agriculture, and contains a number of poultry feeding operations. Water quality degradation continues to be an important issue in the watershed. This newsletter examines how upstream land use affects water quality.