- Dissolved oxygen
- Water clarity
- Aquatic Grasses
- Bentic (bottom) communities
This year, both the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River took a step backwards. The Potomac backslid from a C to a D and the Chesapeake went to a C-. It was both systems first decline in four years. The Potomac grade reversed because of severe storms and high streamflows during the spring and early summer resulting in significant sediment deposits flowing into the creeks. Every single indicator declined. Poor water quality, ruins biotic indicators which resultingly hurts our fisheries.
All of this underscores the importance of getting Virginia's stormwater management under control. I have written before on this blog about the quality of Mount Vernon's steams.
Quander Brook is biologically dead. One neighbor calls it a natural toilet bowl because of the stormwater that hits it during rain events. Paul Spring has fewer fish in it than I remember as a kid. Little Hunting Creek and Dogue Creek are full of trash and you can barely see inches below the water surface.During our last session, I also argued against hiding pollution data during the session, but we created a Freedom of Information Act exemption for compliance data provided provided by polluters.
Sooner or later we need to get serious about controlling water pollution or the Potomac River will continue to suffer.