A Message From the Chair:
In the previous newsletter, I identified the goal of enhancing application of technical information to decisions affecting Maryland's water resources. Dissemination of technical information is important in that regard, but so is understanding of the needs of end users. We will continue to organize meetings, forums, and workshops to enhance communication and information exchange. In the coming months, the Council also will be expanding its web site and web-based tools to enhance online communication and information exchange among providers and users of water resource information.
Paul T. Jacobson
February 27, 2006
Zebra Mussel Eradication Project Underway in Virginia
How many of you know that there is a reproducing population of zebra mussels living in a northern Virginia quarry about 75 miles from Annapolis? In August 2002, a report came into the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) that zebra mussels were thriving in Millbrook Quarry, a 12-acre barrow pit located about 4 miles west of Hay Market, in Prince William County, Virginia. This was the first time zebra mussels had been confirmed this far downstream in the Chesapeake Bay basin. The quarry is on private land and used exclusively for SCUBA diving. "How did the mussels get into the quarry?" was probably one of the first questions VDGIF staff asked? Nobody knows for sure, or if they know, they aren't talking. The most popular theory is that the zebra mussels were intentionally introduced by one of more divers-----to clear the water and increase visibility. The quarry lies within the Occoquan River watershed, a tributary to the Potomac River and the water supply for the city of Manassas. After several years of planning and fund raising, VDGIF and several partners began a project to eradicate this invasive, non-native species in January 2006. Nobody has ever attempted a total mussel eradication effort in a water body so large in surface area and volume.
The chosen method was to inoculate the entire quarry from surface to bottom with a 12% slurry of potash fertilizer (potassium chloride) at a cost of over $350,000. The inoculation phase of the project will take 4-5 weeks, to be followed by bioassay tests this summer to confirm that lethal levels of potash have been achieved. I visited the project on January 8 to glean what I could from observing the potash being pumped for shoreline storage tanks and injected into the water column from a boat. Why is Maryland DNR interested in a zebra mussel eradication project in Virginia? Do we have any zebra mussels in Maryland? We don't think so. DNR is interested in Millbrook Quarry simply because we may need to use these eradiation procedures if and when zebra mussels invade or are introduced into Maryland waters----if they show up first in a nice confined water body like a quarry. That's not likely, but if they do, we'd like to be as prepared as possible.
Hydrologic and Geochemical Controls on Pesticide and
Nutrient Transport to Two Streams on the Delmarva Peninsula
A Surficial Hydrogeologic Framework for the Mid-Atlantic
Things to Do and Places to Be:
The Maryland Biological Stream Survey is again offering training and testing sessions for biologists conducting stream sampling in Maryland. During May 22-24, 2006, training/testing opportunities are available for those who are using the MBSS approach. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call or email Scott Stranko at 410-260-8603 or email@example.com
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