The Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) was started by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in 1993 as a pilot study in three watersheds. A second, larger demonstration project, expanded statewide, was conducted in 1994. The MBSS was Maryland's first probability-based or random design stream sampling program intended to provide unbiased estimates of stream conditions with known precision at various spatial scales ranging from large 6-digit river basins and medium-sized 8-digit watersheds to the entire state. The basis of the MBSS design is lattice or multi-stratification sampling that ensures all 1st through 3rd order (now 1st through 4th order), non-tidal streams in the sampling frame have a non-zero and known probability of being sampled. A stratified random design is a cost-effective way to characterize Maryland's 10,000+ miles of freshwater streams.
The third round of statewide random sampling concluded in the summer of 2009. In 2011, MBSS sampled targeted areas around the state, as well as sites related to special circumstances, such as the influx of high flows due to heavy summer rains. In 2014, MBSS will begin the fourth round of statewide random sampling. More information will be posted soon.
The Maryland Biological Stream Survey's goal is to provide the best possible information for ensuring the protection and restoration of Maryland's stream ecological resources.
MBSS data are used for countless studies about freswater ecology. This section details some of the research that Maryland DNR conducts that focus on certain issues in the State. Some include:
MBSS puts many of its reports, manuals, and fact sheets up on the web for public viewing. Included in this section are documents about the protocol used by MBSS. You can find all of these at the Publications page.
Every round of MBSS sampling includes a statewide survey of the watersheds in Maryland. Our maps page has pictures of the watersheds sampled from round three, which took place during the years 2007-2009. This page also has maps detailing other projects and data.
Go there now.
580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis MD 21401
Call toll-free in *Maryland* at 1-877-620-8DNR (8367)
Out of State: 410-260-8DNR (8367)