Stream Quality And Biodiversity In Patapsco River Watersheds (presentation)

SOUTHERLAND, MARK T.*, Nancy E. Roth, Donald E. Strebel, Allison Brindley, Ginny Mercurio, Paul Kazyak, Lynn Davidson, and Sandra Shaw Patty

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has embraced an ecosystem approach to natural resources management and is conducting integrated research on the condition of whole watersheds to support ambitious environmental stewardship goals. For example, the Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) has sampled more than 1,000 streams since 1995 and has estimates of stream condition (using the fish and benthic macroinvertebrate Indices of Biotic Integrity; IBIs) for all Maryland river basins and many smaller watersheds. In addition, the Heritage and Biodiversity Conservation Programs have compiled rare, threatened, and endangered species data for all 138 Maryland 8-digit watersheds. The Power Plant Research Program is using these data to evaluate the cumulative effects of power generation and other stressors on Maryland watersheds, including those in the Baltimore Ecosystem. Specifically, PPRP has developed useful relationships between land use and stream condition in the Patapsco River basin. This presentation summarizes the (1) MBSS results for and (2) biodiversity status of each of the eight watersheds in the Patapsco River basin, and discusses the (3) prospects for predicting stream quality condition for all streams in this area.