Volunteer Dan Bornstein measures water clarity with a Secchi disk
Thanks to the drought, we're enjoying some great water quality in most of the Severn River (less rain = less stormwater pollution). Our water quality monitoring teams are tracking some great clarity, oxygen, and salinity levels for this time of year.
The best news to report is our Peach Orchard oyster restoration reef between the Rt. 50 and USNA Bridges. With a clarity measurement of 1.62 meters, this is an excellent reading from the SRA monitoring stations upriver from the USNA Bridge.
And, more good news for oyster restoration: dissolved oxygen on the bottom where oysters live, measured at 4.6 mg/L and an above average salinity reading of 12.2 parts per thousand (ppt). (Oysters start reproducing when salinity exceeds 10 ppt.) This was the best reading of the five restoration reefs SRA monitors every week.
Not so good news, however, inside Lake Ogleton. Clarity here was poor at all three monitoring stations. Clarity at the Bay Ridge Community Marina was the worst, clocking in at a dismal 0.39 meters. The Chesapeake Bay Program gives a failing clarity grade to any Secchi reading less than 0.60 meters. Salinity was high, pushing 12 ppt. Dissolved oxygen levels were moderately poor, as is typical for this time of year.
The Water Quality Monitoring program is sponsored in part by the Delaplaine Foundation. Thank you!