Coastal Bays Water Quality Monitoring

Algae Levels

Graph of Median Chlorophyll aAlgae levels were overall good

Chlorophyll a levels (indicator of microscopic algal biomass or phytoplankton) met seagrass thresholds in most areas. Areas that failed the chlorophyll thresholds included the St. Martin River and tributaries of Newport Bay. High levels of algae in the water indicate nutrient inputs and can block light to seagrasses.

Seaweeds (macroalgae) fluctuated without trend

The highest abundance and diversity of seaweeds were observed in the northern bays. Red macro-algae dominated.

Harmful algae blooms are a concern

Potentially harmful algae blooms are determined through routine monitoring at 12 sites, Maryland Department of the Environment shellfish monitoring and through special studies. There is a close partnership with the county and other State agencies to monitor and make any needed management decisions.

Previous year assessments of chlorophyll a

  • 2004-2007
  • 2001-2003
  • 1999-2001

Trends are calculated on dissolved oxygen due to the rapid daily changes

Continuous Monitoring Results

Data from the continuous monitoring stations reveal more insight into the annual changes in chlorophyll is the coastal bays.

Graph of Chlorophyll a Attainment Failure

For More Information:

Ecosystem Health Assessment 2007-2013 –Chlorophyll, Chapter 4.2 [NEED LINK]