West/Rhode Rivers Report Card

The big news for 2018 was all that rain. The National Weather Service logged it as the wettest year on record for the Northeast. Baltimore/Washington Airport logged more than 72″ when we normally get 30″ inches of rain. All that rain had a negative impact on our rivers — but the news isn’t all bad. Look at the score card, and you’ll see that the 2018 grades for water clarity and bacteria are only 9% worse than last year, while nutrients remained about the same, and dissolved oxygen actually improved. We even found a small patch of underwater grasses growing at the mouth of the Rhode River, a phenomenon we haven’t seen in quite a few years.

So perhaps the best summary for the 2018 report card is: “Could have been worse.” If the trend of more rain and more severe storms persists, we’ll have to double down on our efforts to address stormwater as it runs off the land and treat it before it gets to pollute the water.

View 2018 West/Rhode River Report Card here.

By the Numbers: Data by graphs

We are part of the Mid-Atlantic Tributary Coalition (MTAC). To see the assessment methods we used, see MTAC’s Sampling and Data Analysis Protocols.