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Chesapeake Bay News

Archives: April 2010


Show Us (and Your State's Leaders) How You're Helping the Bay in the Bay Program's First-Ever "Local Action Video Showcase"

Are you doing your part to help your local river, stream, or the Chesapeake Bay in your community? Is your local watershed group, school group, community or municipality restoring a shoreline, replacing a parking lot with porous pavement, planting rain gardens, holding cleanups or doing other restoration work to protect your local waterways? Show the Chesapeake Bay Program in our first-ever Local Action Video Showcase!

Grab your camera and send us a short video that shows what you’re doing in your community to help your local waterway or the Chesapeake Bay. We’ll use all the video submissions to create a collective video that highlights all the local work being done throughout the Bay watershed – from New York to Virginia, West Virginia to Delaware – to restore and protect the Bay and its many streams, creeks and rivers.

The collective video will be shown to representatives and elected officials from throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed – including Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia – during the annual Chesapeake Executive Council meeting on June 3. The Chesapeake Executive Council includes Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell and District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Additionally, submitted videos will be included in a feature on the Chesapeake Bay Program's website in early June about local restoration work throughout the Bay watershed.

What you need to do:

Film a short (5 minutes or less) video showing how you or your group is helping the Bay or your local stream or river. We’re especially interested in examples of local action in urban areas, but videos of restoration and protection work from all types of communities will be accepted!

Make sure to begin your video by:

  1. Introducing yourself and letting us know where you are located,
  2. Telling us the name of the local waterway you’re working to protect.

Then show us examples of what you’re doing in your community. Have fun with this part – do something interesting or creative.

Here’s some other tips to help guide the creation of your video:

  • Make sure to get shots of people interacting with the environment
  • Feel free to interview active participants
  • Don’t include any background music – we’ll add that in for the collaborative video
  • You don’t need a fancy camera to make your video – a point-and-shoot camera or other small handheld video camera will do fine.

Check out this sample video for more ideas on what to include in your video:

Send a DVD of your video by May 14, 2010 to:

Chesapeake Bay Program
Local Action Video Showcase
410 Severn Avenue, Suite 109
Annapolis, Md. 21403

We can’t wait to see your videos!

*By submitting a video, you give the Chesapeake Bay Program the right to edit and use your footage in various formats. Any use of copyrighted or third-party material is prohibited and will not be knowingly accepted by the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Keywords: what you can do

Question of the Week: What can I do around the Bay for Earth Day?

Welcome to the latest installment of the BayBlog Question of the Week! Each week, we're taking a question submitted on the Chesapeake Bay Program website, or a frequently asked question, and answering it here for all to read.

With the 40th annual Earth Day just around the corner on April 22, many people in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are looking to get involved at the local level:

"What can I do around the Chesapeake Bay or my local river to make a difference on Earth Day?"

There are restoration and cleanup activities happening all over the Bay watershed for the next week or so, and some events have already been completed. This past Saturday at the 22nd Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, volunteers removed more than 100 tons of trash.

Here is a list of Earth Day events around the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Hopefully you can find something near your house to participate in so you can celebrate Earth Day 2010 by doing your part for the Bay and your local waterway.

If you know of other Earth Day or Earth Week events in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, leave them in the comments so we can inform the rest of our readers!

Ongoing events:

Event: Earth Day Network Billion Acts of Green
Location: Worldwide
Description: Brought to you by Earth Day Network, the core of Earth Day's 40th Anniversary program is the Billion Acts of Green campaign. This effort is focused on the facilitation and cultivation of service on behalf of the planet. The goal of the campaign is to aggregate the millions of environmental service commitments that individuals and organizations around the world make each year - thereby sending a powerful message that people from all walks of life are committed to solving climate change.
More Info: http://billionactsofgreen.com/

Event: Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania
Time: Varies throughout March, April and May
Location: Various locations throughout Pennsylvania
Description: Join Pennsylvanians across the state — and Americans across the nation — in cleaning up litter and trash along our roadsides, streams, parks, forests and neighborhoods. Anyone can help!
More Info: http://www.gacofpa.org/



Saturday, April 17, 2010

Event: Annapolis Greenscape
Time: All day
Location: Various locations, Annapolis, Md.
Description: The City of Annapolis hosts its annual community greening event. People will fan out across the city to spruce up public spaces.
More Info: www.annapolis.gov   

Event: Walk for the Woods
Time: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: Bacon Ridge Branch Natural Area, Crownsville, Md.
Description: This annual event includes nature walks and bird walks at the Bacon Ridge Branch Natural Area in Crownsville, which is normally closed to the public.
The event benefits the Scenic Rivers Land Trust, a local land preservation group. Free, but donations welcomed.
More Info: www.srlt.org/woods.

Event: Baltimore City Spring Cleanup
Time: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Various locations, Baltimore, Md.
Description: Join your neighbors and choose a location that needs a special cleanup. Community representatives should call 311 to register. Containers for debris collection will be available on a first call basis. Trucks will NOT be available. Even communities without a container can participate by bagging and stacking debris at a designated location so that it can be picked up on Monday, April 19th. Please provide your designated collection point when you register your clean up with 311.
More Info: http://www.baltimorecity.gov/Government/AgenciesDepartments/PublicWorks/PressReleases/tabid/285/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/254/Sign_Up_for_Mayor_Stephanie_Rawlings-Blakes_Spring_Cleanup.aspx

Event: Bowie Stream Cleanup
Time: 9 a.m. to noon
Location: Various locations, Bowie, Md.
Description: Join the 4th bi-annual Bowie stream cleanup to keep Bowie’s streams free of litter and trash.
More Info: www.cityofbowie.org



Event: New Kent County Envirothon
Times: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: New Kent Extension Office, New Kent, Va.
Description: The New Kent Clean County Committee and the New Kent Extension Office will host Envirothon Earth Day to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. A day of activities is planned for all ages.
More Info: http://www.cvwma.com/storage/File/1-Envirothon-Earth%20Day.pdf



Event: Chesterfield County’s Environmental Fair
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: John Tyler Community College – Midlothian Campus
More Info: http://www.cvwma.com/education_and_outreach/earth_day.wbp


Event: Earth Day week tree and milkweed planting at Potomac Overlook Regional Park
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, Va.
Description: We will be planting trees, hundreds of milkweeds and also removing invasive plants that have been killing trees at the park. The number of volunteers will be limited to approximately 50-60, so call park staff at 703-528-5406 to sign up.
More Info: http://earthday.org/events/earthday-week-tree-and-milkweed-planting-potomac-overlook-regional-park or call 703-528-5406



Event: Earth Day Celebration
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Location: Three Lakes Park, Richmond, Va.
Description: The Division of Recreation and Parks is teaming up with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Program, James River Advisory Commission, County of Henrico Energy Management Plan, and Keep Henrico Beautiful! Activities and entertainment will include educational booths and displays, a children’s puppet show, recycling games, the Henrico County Bookmobile, arts and crafts, face painting, and more. The Wildlife Center of Virginia will be on site with live animals and will educate you on animal rescue. Three Lakes Nature Center will also feature hands on activities as well as educational displays.
More Info: http://earthday.org/events/earth-day-2010-celebration-three-lakes-park or Call Jeannie Murray at 501-5121


Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18, 2010

Event: Earth Day Network Global Days of Service
Time: All day
Location: Worldwide
Description: The Global Days of Service will feature Volunteer Actions by tens of thousands of global participants, from April 17 – 18, 2010. These projects in parks, beaches, schools and forests will focus on climate change solutions like tree planting, energy efficiency retrofits, water protection, urban gardens and forest restoration. Produced with the help of Earth Day Network, along with local community organizations and governments, the activities will address current challenges and will help cities and organizations streamline their energy needs, and ‘green up’ their communities. Suitable for individuals of all ages, including children and families, these activities encourage active lifestyles and healthful living, while also connecting volunteers with the green solutions.
More Info: http://www.earthday.net/globaldaysofservice

Event: Earth Day on the National Mall Exhibitions and Performances
Time: All day
Location: The National Mall, Washington, D.C.



Sunday, April 18-25, 2010

Event: Maryland Public Television's Chesapeake Bay Week
Description: Maryland Public Television hosts special environmental programming through April 25.
More Info: www.mpt.org/bayweek



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Event: The Nature Conservancy in Maryland/D.C.’s 2nd Annual Earth Day 5K Race
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Silver Spring, Md.
Description: Net proceeds raised at this event will help build an oyster sanctuary in the Chesapeake Bay. The goal? Raise $25,000 to plant 5 million baby oysters (called spat) in Maryland waters.
More Info: http://www.silverspring5k.com/ or http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/maryland/events/events6127.html

Event: Irvine Nature Center's Earth Day: Kids Unplugged
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Owings Mills, Md.
Description: Earth Day: Kids Unplugged, Irvine Nature Center's GET OUTSIDE initiative, encourages children and families to literally "unplug" from video games, television, movies, iPods and other forms of electronics to participate in activities focused on Mother Earth.  On Sunday, April 18, 2010, children and families will engage in forest exploration, making reusable lunch boxes and bird feeders and tree planting to help with the reforestation of a portion of Irvine's 116-acre property, and more.
More Info: http://www.explorenature.org/index.php

Event: Earth Day on the Square
Time: 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Downtown on the Square, Washington St., Leonardtown, Md.
Description: Celebrate the Earth; organic plants and produce, land/sea/bay conservation, recycling, music, games, food, entertainment.
More Info: leonardtown.somd.com

Event: Earth Day CITO (Cache In, Trash Out) and GeoCaching Event
Location: Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, Grasonville, Md.
Description: Join in our 2nd Annual CITO (Cache In, Trash Out) event hosted by the Military Association of GeoCachers (MAGC). Help clean up the marsh and go geocaching! The event is open to everyone and pre-registration is required.
More Info: www.bayrestoration.org



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Event: Students’ Environmental Service Day
Time: 9:30 a.m. to noon
Location: R.B. Winter State Park, Mifflinburg, Pa.
Description: HELP WANTED: STUDENTS WHO CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT! Teachers, celebrate Earth and Arbor Day with your class by getting involved in some environmentally friendly projects at the park. Public, private and home-schooled students are encouraged to attend. Planned projects include shrub and tree planting, mulching trails, and park cleanup activities. A brief program on Earth and Arbor days will kick off the event followed by projects. Classes and families need to pre-register by calling the office at (570) 966-1455. Only a limited number of students can be accepted so please make arrangements as soon as possible.
More Info: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/Calendar/view_event.asp?CalendarID=12830&Location=List

Event: Green Drinks for the Bay
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Severn Inn, Annapolis, Md.
Description: Informal networking group Green Drinks will be hosting an Earth Day happy hour at 5:30 p.m. on April 22 at the Severn Inn. Groups around the Chesapeake region will be meeting at the same time to try to break a record held by a group in Australia for the largest Green Drinks gathering.
More Info: www.annapolisgreen.com



Saturday, April 24, 2010

Event: Earth Day Cleanup at the National Zoo
Time: 8 a.m. to noon
Location: The National Zoo, Washington, D.C.
Description: Join Zoo staff and other visitors in keeping our ecosystem healthy and picking up litter, aluminum cans, snack food wrappers, and other litter that will be sorted into recyclables and trash. Talk to members of the Zoo's Green Team about sustainability initiatives and representatives from other organizations about what ordinary people can do to build solutions to global issues such as climate change. Children can participate in fun and educational activities.
More Info: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/ActivitiesAndEvents/Celebrations/

Event: Anacostia Watershed Society’s Annual Anacostia Watershed Cleanup
Time: 8:30 a.m. to noon; rallies noon to 3 p.m.
Location: Various locations in Washington, D.C. and Maryland
Description: Join AWS as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day! Our annual Earth Day event brings together hundreds of volunteers to participate in a massive trash cleanup along the shores of the Anacostia River in DC and several upstream tributaries in Maryland.  An Earth Day Celebration will follow the morning cleanup featuring free food, music and presentations from government officials.  Last year, approximately 2,000 volunteers helped remove more than 60 tons of trash from the Anacostia River, so sign up today to help make it happen this year!
More Info: http://www.anacostiaws.org/programs/stewardship/earthday

Event: Isaak Walton League Earth Day Pollinator Garden Planting and Lake Cleanup
Time: 9 a.m. to noon
Location: Isaak Walton League, Gaithersburg, Md.
Description: Our beautiful wooded property (707 Conservation Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20878) offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Dig into a pollinator garden project to help feed the bees and butterflies or splash on the shores of Lake Wiles for a habitat clean-up and restoration project. There will be workshops on composting, stream conservation, and other environmental topics. Free refreshments and giveaways! Free tree seedlings to first 100 participants.
More Info: Contact Rebecca Wadler for further information at 301- 548-0150 x243 or rwadler@iwla.org. Rain date: April 25th.

Event: Havre de Grace Maritime Museum Earth Day Celebration
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Havre de Grace, Md.
Description: Participate in Riversweep, and have fun learning how you can protect the Bay. Enjoy lunch and live music at the Maritime Museum. Receive a special pass to visit local attractions. Children’s Games and Activities will be available.
More Info: http://www.hdgmaritimemuseum.org/

Event: Canoe Creek State Park Clean Up Day
Time: 9 a.m. to noon
Location: Canoe Creek State Park, Hollidaysburg, Pa.
Description: Join us in recognition of Earth Day - step outside on a spring day to help put the park in shape for the season. Volunteers are needed to help with litter pick up, trail trimming and more. Pre-register yourself or your family or group on-line to help. Meet at Education Center to get materials.
More Info: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/Calendar/view_event.asp?CalendarID=12896&Location=Search

Event: Earth Day at Quiet Waters Park
Time: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Location: Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis, Md.
Description: Enjoy a day in nature and spending time outside with family and friends to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. Event activities will include live music on 2 stages by our area’s popular artists; kite flying; hot air balloon rides; the Sierra Club 5K race; nature-oriented scavenger hunts; scales and tales, horse shoe crab and native critter displays; presentations of environmental projects by public and private schools, plus a lot more. Live music by Doug Segree (12n-1p) and Pressing Strings (4p-5:30p) will be featured at the Amphitheater Concert Stage and Bates Middle School Choral and Dance (11a-12n) and Neil Harpe (1p-2p) will be featured at the Formal Garden Stage. Garrett’s Light kites (10a-4p), hot air balloon rides (11a-4p) and food and beverages will be available for purchase to continue to raise funds to support environmental education within the park and a new park attraction, the Reading and Butterfly Garden. Admission is free and park entrance fees will be waived.
More Info: http://www.friendsofquietwaterspark.org

Event: Alexandria Earth Day
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Ben Brenman Park, Alexandria, Va.
Description: Come and celebrate with us what our children are doing to make Alexandria an eco-city we can all be proud of.
More Info: http://www.alexearthday.org/

Event: Greater Severna Park Earth DayExpo
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Location: St. Martin's-in-the-Field Church, Severna Park, Md.
Description: St. Martin’s-in-the-Field Church on Benfield Boulevard is the site of this annual festival from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Discounted rain barrels can be ordered in advance.
More Info: www.gspwag.org

Event: Annapolis Maritime Museum’s Treasure Our Waters Cruise
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Location: Annapolis Maritime Museum, Annapolis, Md.
Description: In Honor of Earth Day, learn about one of our most valuable natural resources, water, and its interaction with people and the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay. Explore water conservation, observe the roles of wetlands, and learn about the importance of oysters in water quality. You will spend half the time ashore at the Annapolis Maritime Museum and half on a boat examining Bay waters up close.
More Info: http://tickets.watermarkjourney.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=27&c=3&pg=

Event: Prince George’s County Public Schools’ Earth Day 40th Anniversary Family Science Day
Time: Noon to 4 p.m.
Location: Howard B. Owens Science Center, Lanham, Md.
Description: The Howard B. Owens Science Center will be hosting a free, community day to celebrate "Earth Day 40" on April 24, 2010 from 12-4 pm. The afternoon will include fun, hands-on activities, planetarium programs, display tables, informative talks and more. Come join us for the day and bring the entire family. This year's theme, Take the Green Route, focuses on efficient and eco-friendly transportation options such as walking, bicycling, ridesharing, and riding public transit. Activities include recycling and composting demonstrations, live music, an Arbor Day tree planting, a performance by Blue Sky Puppets, and a launch of the Eco-City Action Plan Phase II.
More Info: http://www1.pgcps.org/howardbowens/index.aspx?id=110202

Event: Earth Day at the Maryland Science Center
Time: Noon to 4 p.m.
Location: Maryland Science Center, Baltimore, Md.
Description: Green is the new black here at the Maryland Science Center. We’ll be exploring family-friendly ways to adopt a greener lifestyle and help conserve our planet’s resources. Make flower baskets from plastic bottles, make your own recycled paper, make a reusable tote bag, play recycle games and receive your own sapling to take home. Learn how to plant your own veggies, too. Folks from the American Chemical Society as well as the Citizen Science program will be on hand with environmental experiments and plenty of information about how to keep our planet healthy. More green activities will be announced. All activities are free with paid admission.
More Info: http://www.mdsci.org/events-calendar/events/EarthDay.html

Event: Second Annual Panhandle Earth Day Celebration
Time: Noon to 9 p.m.
Location: Morgan’s Grove Park, Shepherdstown, W. Va.
Description: There will be music, art, crafts, food, kid’s activities, demonstrations, environmental and conservation groups, activists, vendors, a farmers market and more! This is a family-friendly, community oriented event that is free and open to the public, so bring the family and come on out! This is a leave no trace event. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch, lawn chairs, blankets, recreational equipment and comforts for an afternoon in the park. Please leave dogs at home. The celebration will be held rain or shine.
More Info: http://www.earthvibeproductions.com/

Event: Earth Conservation Corps Annual Earth Day Project
Time: TBD
Location: Pope Branch Park, Washington, D.C.
Description: The Earth Conservation Corps is a nonprofit organization that engages the strong minds and muscles of Anacostia’s youth in the restoration of the Anacostia River. As corps members improve their own lives, they rebuild the environmental, social, and economic health of their communities. The ECC along with local partners, friends, the community and the Anacostia Watershed Society, are looking forward to this Annual Earth Day event.
More Info: http://www.ecc1.org/


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Event: Montgomery County Earth Day
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Md.
Description: As part of Montgomery County Earth Day, you can take a tour of the award-winning Recycling Center, get Leafgro® and compost bins available at no charge while supplies last and make earth-friendly crafts. You will have the opportunity to learn more about: environmentally-friendly homes, vehicles & landscaping; recycling and waste reduction; and buying recycled products. There will also be special drop-offs for Montgomery County residents only. You can bring your personal papers for on-site shredding provided at no charge by Office Paper Systems (limit 3 paper bags or 1 office paper-sized box of paper per person). Bring your unwanted jeans and denim clothing for recycling into insulation for houses in areas of need, a partnership between Cotton Incorporated and Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County ReStore, in collaboration with Amicus Green Building Center.
More Info: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/swstmpl.asp?url=/content/dep/solidwaste/education/earthday.asp

Event: Richmond Earth Day Festival
Time: 12 to 5 p.m.
Location: Richmond, Va.
Description:  Activities include: recycled art, hands-on workshops, local food, local music, eco-friendly resources, kids’ activities, fly fish demonstrations, shad fishing for school children and exhibits on river water quality.
More Info: http://earthdayrichmond.org/  

Event: Chesapeake Bay Foundation Earth Day Tree Planting
Location: Holly Beach Farm, Annapolis, Md.
Description: Help us celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by planting more than 1,000 native trees and shrubs at CBF's Holly Beach Farm. All the vegetation we plant will help filter out pollution and sediment from adjacent farm fields.
More Info: Contact MDRestoration@cbf.org

Do you have a question about the Chesapeake Bay? Ask us and we might choose your question for the next Question of the Week! You can also ask us a question via Twitter by sending a reply to @chesbayprogram! Be sure to follow us there for all the latest in Bay news and events!

Keywords: questions

Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Population Increases for Second Straight Year

The Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population has risen to an estimated 658 million, a 60 percent increase from last year and the highest level since 1997, according to the latest annual Bay-wide winter dredge survey.

In 2009, the survey estimated the blue crab population at 400 million, and in 2008 the population was estimated at 280 million.

The low blue crab population in 2008 prompted Maryland, Virginia and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission (PRFC) to implement emergency fishery regulations to reduce harvest pressure on female crabs by 34 percent.

The 2010 population estimate indicates that the blue crab fishery management measures put into place by Maryland and Virginia in 2008 have been successful at rebuilding the blue crab population.

“The substantial rise in abundance of mature crabs and juveniles was clearly a response of the crab population to unprecedented management actions, such as the closure of the winter dredge fishery by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and partner agencies,” said Dr. Rom Lipcius, who directs the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) component of the annual dredge survey. “The increase was neither a random event nor a reflection of improved environmental conditions.”

However, the governors of Maryland and Virginia stressed that the states must continue to work together.

“While we are making progress, our work is not done and we are committed to working with our partners to achieve our ultimate goal of a self-sustaining fishery that will support our industry and recreational fisheries over the long term,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said.

“Two years does not make a trend,” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said. “The scientific evidence shows our management measures are working but we need to continue along this path in order to ensure the Bay's crab population returns to robustness and remains at that level.”

The Bay-wide dredge survey also estimates the abundance of adult, spawning-age crabs. There are an estimated 315 million spawning-age crabs in the Bay, up from 223 million in 2009 as reported in the 2009 Bay Barometer. This is the highest population of spawning-age blue crabs recorded since 1993. Crab reproduction this year was the sixth-highest in the 21-year survey history.

The annual winter dredge survey is conducted by VIMS and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. It is the most comprehensive and statistically sound of the blue crab surveys conducted in the Chesapeake Bay and serves as the main indicator of blue crab stock status.

For more information about the blue crab population figures, view this technical presentation by VIMS.

Additionally, preliminary figures indicate that the 2009 Bay-wide blue crab harvest was 53.7 million pounds, which equates to approximately 43 percent of the population, below the target harvest level of 46 percent. Watermen actually harvested more crabs during the 2009 season than in seven of the past 10 years.

Based on the final assessment of crab harvest by NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee, Maryland, Virginia and the PRFC may consider modest modifications to the current blue crab regulations by early summer.

Keywords: blue crabs

New Study Shows Rising Water Temperatures in Potomac, Other U.S. Rivers

New research by a team of scientists led by the University of Maryland shows that water temperatures are increasing in many streams and rivers throughout the United States, including two that flow to the Chesapeake Bay.

The Potomac River, one of the Bay’s largest tributaries, was one of 20 major U.S. rivers and streams showing statistically significant long-term warming. In Maryland’s Patuxent River, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) researchers have noted a 3°F increase since 1939.

Other major U.S. rivers showing warming trends include the Colorado, Delaware and Hudson rivers.

Long-term temperature increases can affect the diversity of aquatic life, because animals and plants can die if water temperatures rise too high. It can also affect basic ecological processes, such as oxygen levels, because warmer water is not able to hold as much oxygen.

Long-term increases in stream water temperatures typically correlated with increases in air temperatures. Rates of warming were most rapid in urbanized areas, where “heat island” effects caused by large areas of asphalt and concrete increase the temperature of polluted stormwater runoff that flows into storm drains and streams.

“We are seeing the largest increases in the most highly urbanized areas which lead us to believe that the one-two punch of development and global warming could have a tremendous impact on stream and river ecosystem health,” said Dr. Sujay Kaushal of UMCES and lead author of the study.

To help reduce increased water temperatures, the authors of the study pointed to conserving streamside forest buffers, reducing impervious surfaces, adopting green infrastructure practices such as rain gardens, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The research appeared in the article, “Rising stream and river temperatures in the United States,” in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

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