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“Nationals October 2019

Annual “Wade-In” grades area waterways

| June 20, 2020, 10:33 AM

Rams Head

Elvia Thompson of Annapolis Green could not see her feet any deeper than 19.5 inches in College Creek at St. John’s College’s living shoreline.

GreenGive organization members and volunteers followed the “Wade In” tradition started by State Senator Bernie Fowler 33 years ago in the Patuxent River by wading into Annapolis’ four creeks to assess water clarity recently. The waders move into the water until they can no longer see their feet or their sneakers, as an unscientific, yet easy-to-understand measure the clarity of our waters.

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Rams Head

Results:

Back Creek (2019 measurement was 43.3”)

College Creek (2019 measurement was 39.4”)

    • 19.5” at the St. John’s College living shoreline

Spa Creek (2019 measurement was 19.7”)

    • 26” at Truxtun Park

Weems Creek (2019 measurement was 29.5”)

    • 25.5” at Dewey Dock

In summary, Back Creek clarity was about the same as last year, College Creek was half as clear, Spa Creek was more clear, and Weems Creek was slightly less clear. This year more underwater grasses are being seen in almost all of the Bay’s tributaries.

Water clarity is important because it can affect the health of underwater grasses which are a critical part of the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries. When water is murky sunlight reaching underwater grasses is reduced making it difficult or impossible for photosynthesis to happen. Bay and river water can become cloudy from excess nutrients (such as fertilizers) and sediments (soil runoff or erosion in rainstorms) which fuel algae growth. When the algae dies the decomposition reduces available oxygen in the water harming aquatic wildlife.

Senator Fowler began his informal “sneaker index” of water clarity because he was concerned about the declining health of the Patuxent and the Chesapeake Bay. When he was a boy he could see crabs scurrying under his feet at chest-high depth. Read more: mdp.state.md.us/Pages/OurWork/fowlerwadein.aspx. The tradition has continued throughout the Bay and its tributaries.

The GreenGive is a collaborative fundraising partnership that includes 11 small environmental nonprofits that work completely or primarily in Anne Arundel County. Funds raised by the 24-hour campaign, taking place this year on July 21-22, will be used to invest in actions that have a tangible impact on our own local waterways and quality of life. Every dollar raised will be turned into projects and programs that make a difference in Anne Arundel County.

The partners are:

  • Annapolis Green
  • Arundel Rivers Federation
  • ClearShark H2O
  • Friends of Jug Bay
  • Scenic Rivers Land Trust
  • Severn River Association
  • Severn Riverkeeper
  • Spa Creek Conservancy
  • St. Luke’s Restoration of Nature
  • Unity Gardens
  • Watershed Stewards Academy

Read more about the GreenGive here: greengive.org.

Rams Head

Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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