by Alicia Pimental
October 30, 2010
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) has given the health of the Nanticoke River – considered to be one of the most pristine rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed – a B-minus in the first-ever Nanticoke River Report Card.
The report card, based on data collected by volunteers with the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, is designed to help local residents better understand the Nanticoke’s health. From April through November, more than 30 volunteers monitor water quality at 37 sites throughout the Nanticoke’s 725,000-acre watershed.
The Nanticoke River watershed covers approximately 725,000 square miles from its headwaters in Delaware to the river’s mouth at Tangier Sound on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Captain John Smith mapped the Nanticoke River during his 1607-1609 voyages of the Chesapeake, and the river still has many spots where viewers can enjoy a “John Smith view” unobstructed by modern development.
“The Nanticoke River report card shows that we must remain vigilant about managing the watershed to avoid degrading this magnificent river,” said UMCES Vice President for Science Application Dr. Bill Dennison.
The Nanticoke River Report Card is one of eight river report cards that UMCES produces along with its annual Chesapeake Bay Report Card.
Delaware environmental officials, political leaders and environmental advocates celebrated the river’s health but also noted that the region must remain careful to protect it for future generations.
For more information about the Nanticoke River Report Card, visit UMCES’ website.