by Rachel Felver
March 19, 2019
The Magothy River Association recently announced that the Magothy River received a “D” grade in its latest health assessment. Located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the river received a score of 30 percent, an improvement over its 2017 score of 22 percent. More significantly, this year’s score saw an increase in the water quality of the river for the first time in more than three years. However, this remains far below the 80 percent threshold needed for an “A” grade.
The “Magothy River Index” is calculated by using measurements of water clarity, underwater grass abundance and dissolved oxygen concentrations. This year’s score was due in large part to an increase in water clarity. Experts thanked an explosion of dark false mussels, which help to filter pollutants and sediment, allowing for a higher abundance of underwater grasses.
Members of the Magothy River Association cite stormwater runoff from residential properties as the biggest detriment to the health of the river. While the Magothy feeds directly into the Chesapeake Bay, the areas of lowest water quality were recorded among its creeks and coves.
Since 2003, the Magothy River Association has developed its annual Magothy River Index using data collected through the efforts of volunteer water quality monitors, as well as scientific information from the Chesapeake Bay Program. For more information, visit the Magothy River Association.