Dissolved Oxygen

Oxygen levels are low in some areas

Although the Coastal Bays are shallow lagoons which typically do not stratify, oxygen values were frequently low in some areas. Dissolved oxygen (DO) data sources show that Bishopville Prong, Shingle Landing Prong, areas of the St. Martin River, dead-end canals and some areas in Chincoteague Bay have poor fish and crab habitat (DO  < 3mg/L) during summer months.  Additional areas that have DO levels below the state criteria of 5 mg/L include Ayer, Trappe, Newport, Marshall Greys, Manklin, Herring and Turville Creeks, as well as areas in Chincoteague Bay.  Areas that have < 5 mg/L DO during the day may provide stressful habitat at night.

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Status of dissolved oxygen based on median concentrations during the summer (June through September) of 2001 through 2003 was calculated for the Coastal Bays. 

More Information on Oxygen in the Bays

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources now has three continuous monitors deployed in the Coastal Bays.  Monitors are located in Bishopville Prong, Turville Creek and Public Landing.  

Kitts Branch (runs into Trappe Creek) data showed low levels of DO warranting a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).  Check the Maryland Department of Environment's website  for more information on TMDL's.

For more information, download the Dissolved Oxygen in the Coastal Bays report (pdf file: 1,692 KB - this document was created as a brochure; therefore, the pages in the file are not consecutive.  It is best if printed double sided on 11" x 17" paper).

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