Chincoteague Bay
Watershed Characterization

The Chincoteague Bay is the largest body of water in Marylandís Coastal Bays covering 72.6 square miles (46,483 acres). This bay is polyhaline ranging from 23 to 36 parts per thousand salinity. This embayment is created by Assateague Island, which is a barrier island that covers about 10.8 square miles (6,916 acres) in Maryland. The remaining land that drains to Chincoteague Bay in Maryland encompasses about 56.1 square miles (35,890 acres).

Worcester County, Maryland is receiving Federal grant funding to prepare a Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS) for the Chincoteague Bay Watershed. As part of the WRAS project, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is providing technical assistance, including preparation of a watershed characterization (compilation of available water quality and natural resources information and identification of issues), a stream corridor assessment (uses field data to catalog issues and rate severity) and a synoptic survey (analyzes benthic macroinvertebrates, fish and water samples with focus on nutrients). The County will consider the information generated in these efforts as it drafts the County Watershed Restoration Action Strategy.

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