Port Tobacco River
Watershed Characterization


Charles County, one of five counties participating in the 2005 WRAS program, has selected the Port Tobacco River Watershed (Basin number: 02140109) for protection and restoration. The Port Tobacco River is a tributary of the Potomac River and is part of the Lower Potomac Tributary Strategy Basin (Map 1: Port Tobacco River Watershed). It is downstream of La Plata and includes the town of Port Tobacco (Map 2: WRAS Project Area).

Port Tobacco River watershed is prioritized in Marylandís Clean Water Action Plan (1998) as both a Category 1 watershed indicating that it is in need of restoration and as a Category 3 watershed indicating that it is a pristine or sensitive watershed in need of protection. Because the selection criteria used for Category 1 (Restoration) and Category 3 (Preservation) are not the same and because land use and related factors may vary considerably within a large watershed, many of the State's watersheds are identified as both Category 1 and 3 watersheds. These watersheds show signs of stress or degradation but still contain pristine or sensitive natural resources.

The County is working on a Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS) project to be completed in 2006. Charles Countyís project is intended to dovetail with existing efforts to protect the watershed. The Charles County WRAS will identify and prioritize local restoration and protection needs associated with water quality and habitat. To support this effort, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has provided grant funding and technical assistance, which includes production of this Watershed Characterization.

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