Stream Health

A small waterfall over rocks into a stream. Help Restore Your Stream

Maryland has over 10,000 miles of rivers and streams that reach through every corner of our State – from the Appalachians to the Eastern Shore.

Click here for the Interactive Maryland StreamHealth Map

They range from the mighty Potomac to small, unnamed creeks in our backyards. Our streams serve as the capillaries and arteries carrying water, life, and pollutants to the Chesapeake Bay. They provide recreational opportunities such as canoeing and fishing, help grow our crops, feed our reservoirs, serve as critical habitat for valuable and endangered species, and provide essential natural services to our environment. Every Maryland citizen lives within at least 15 minutes of a stream or river. What we do on our land directly influences the health of these valuable parts of Maryland’s landscape. This website is provided as a resource on the health of Maryland’s streams, factors that impact that health, and to direct you to ways that you can become actively involved in protecting and restoring your streams.

More about the Maryland Biological Stream Survey

Maryland Biological Stream Survey logoThe Maryland Biological Stream Survey’s (MBSS) goal is to provide the best possible information for ensuring the protection and restoration of Maryland’s stream resources.

The MBSS was created in 1993 by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as a way to characterize the health of Maryland’s 10,000+ miles of freshwater streams. Sites are selected using a rigorous statistical design that allows the department to estimate stream condition in medium and large watersheds, as well as statewide. Data is collected at each site on the physical, chemical, and biological (fish and insects) characteristics, and then combined into an overall assessment. Since 1995, the MBSS has surveyed 3,405 sites across Maryland. For more details on the program, please visit the Maryland Biological Stream Survey website.