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Secretary Griffin To Speak At South River Federation Annual Meeting
DNR Releases New South River Water Quality Newsletter
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary, John R. Griffin will speak at the South River Federation’s Annual Meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at the Philip Merrill Environmental Center in Annapolis.
“Only by working with local communities and organizations like the South River Federation can we make progress towards becoming a “sustainable” Maryland - where we conserve natural resources while also sustain Marylanders quality of life, maintain sustainable economic growth, and promote individual behaviors that preserve what makes Maryland so special,” said Secretary Griffin.
Coinciding with the meeting, today DNR released its South River Water Quality Newsletter which reports that the South River is negatively impacted by increased urbanization due to development pressure, specifically a high percentage of impervious surface area and excess nutrients. Anne Arundel County, within which the entire South River watershed is located, is expected to continue its moderate growth over the next two decades. The County will likely gain 4,500 new households as a result of the upcoming Federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative slated to bring more military employees to Fort George G. Meade. Without smart, planned growth, increases in population quickly result in more impervious surface within the watershed.
Impervious surfaces allow stormwater runoff to empty directly into streams that feed the South River without first infiltrating into the ground. Stormwater accumulates nutrients and sediments on its way to the streams, which can cause the water to become turbid, or cloudy. Cloudy water can shade underwater vegetation, inhibiting growth. Nutrients also feed algae in the water, which, when overfed, can discolor the water and potentially release toxic compounds.
When shallow water monitoring was conducting from 2004 to 2006, algae blooms and poor water clarity were frequently recorded in the South River. Analysis of non-tidal data collected by the Maryland Biological Stream Survey indicates that stream conditions for a majority of sites were rated as poor for the watershed. However, nitrogen levels have remained largely unchanged since DNR monitoring began in 1985.
Visit www.eyesonthebay.net for current South River water quality monitoring data.
October 16, 2007
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov