Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan (CCMP)
Water Quality

The Water Quality section of the CCMP includes 7 goals:

  1. Decrease nutrient inputs to groundwater from residential and commercial land uses.
  2. Decrease nutrient inputs from stormwater runoff.
  3. Decrease nutrient inputs from the atmosphere.
  4. Decrease nutrient inputs from agricultural sources.
  5. Reduce nutrient inputs from point sources.
  6. Improve water clarity by reducing sediment inputs.
  7. Decrease inputs of toxic contaminants.
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DNR Implementation Summary

Improved water quality is important to the restoration and protection of natural resources in the coastal bays.  The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been involved in numerous activities supporting the water quality goals of the CCMP.  DNR is most significantly involved in coordinating the implementation of the Coastal Bays Monitoring Program (Appendix to CCMP), and in providing technical assistance in shoreline erosion issues and stream restoration.  Some key accomplishments by DNR include:

  • DNR lead the development of a comprehensive Coastal Bays Aquatic Monitoring Program that measures key components of the ecosystem, including pollutant inputs, water quality, habitat and living resources.  Currently DNR monitors 45 sites monthly for routine water quality parameters and two sites continuously from April through October.  The information collected is vital for evaluating the progress of management actions aimed at protecting and restoring the Coastal Bays and tributaries, for our efforts to address emerging issues such as Harmful Algae Blooms, and to provide guidance for future actions. Monitoring data is used to assess current conditions and long-term trends as well as for research and efforts to model the ecosystem.
  • Water quality is impacted by shoreline erosion in a couple ways.  Sediments that erode into the water create cloudy water conditions.  Secondarily, these same sediments may carry pollutants ranging from lawn fertilizer to toxic chemicals from road runoff.  DNR has mapped shoreline changes and estimated erosion rates for the coastal bays watershed.  This information is being used to target sites for shoreline protection and stabilization.  Low interest loans and grant funding has been used to assist shorefront property owners in constructing vegetated buffers and non-structural shoreline stabilization projects through the DNR Shore Erosion Control Program.
  • The CCMP charges DNR with promoting stream restoration projects throughout the coastal bays watershed.  DNR has provided technical assistance and information to help with this effort.  Staff has been provided to physically walk along County-selected streams in the watershed to identify opportunities for stream restoration.  This information is included in the watershed planning documents put together by DNR for Worcester County.

DNR will continue to collaborate with others on water quality monitoring and in promoting stream restoration projects.  Research regarding shore erosion is ongoing and a comprehensive shoreline erosion plan will be developed to further shore erosion protection efforts.


DNR Implementation Summaries

If you have any questions about Maryland's Coastal Bays Implementation Activities, 
please feel free to e-mail, Katheleen Freeman, or call (410) 260-8986.

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