The Potomac River

By: Jackson French, Marcello Neyra


By the time of the Civil War era the Potomac community contained 100 hundred members and in 2010 it was recorded of having a population of 44,965.
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How Is The Land Along The River Used

The land along the river is used for many different things as shown in the image. This includes small towns, city's, forest, wastewater treatment centers, agriculture/ farming, wetlands, hills, suburbs, and residential areas.

What Kind of Surfaces are Present

Due to the mass amount of area with different activities taking place with different structures there are many surfaces. Surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, soil, hills, wetlands, and sand.

How Does This Affect The Amount Of Runoff And Groundwater And How Does This Affect The River

Do to all these solid surfaces, in some places there are mass amounts of increased runoff. This has lead to the Potomac being a very highly polluted river. In a recent cleanup, the Alice Ferguson Foundation found eight refrigerators, 23 bicycles, 2,507 sports balls of all kinds. There were 207.8 tons of trash, picked up across 297 cleanup sites.

What Kind Of Pollutants Affect The River

It's mostly non-point source pollution affecting the river. Examples being suburbs and urban areas contributing to a lot of the rivers pollutants. There's also a large amount of agriculture that's puts fertilizers and other chemicals into the river.
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pH Levels and Plant Growth/ Fertilizer/ Phosphates and Nitrates/ Dissolved Oxygen/ Temperature/ Turbidty/ Microinvertebrates

As you you can see from chart above the pH levels increase as you go further down the river meaning there are more phosphates and nitrates present from fertilizer pollution due to the agriculture. It gets progressively colder and then starts heating up again at the last point. The water has decent DO levels depending on the area of the river with DO levels ranging from a 4.0 to 6.0mg and has fairly low turbidity. There many different kinds of macroinvertebrates present including Stout Razor Clam, Burrowing Anemone, Red Ribbon Worm, Common Clam Worm, Red Giiled Mud Worm, Glassy Tube Worm, Baltic Macoma Clam, Soft Shelled Clam, and Hard Clams.

How Do These Changes In Water Quality Affect Living Things In The Ecosystem

Obviously what Microinvertebrates live in what part of the river are affected by changes in temperature and especially the pH because certain types of macroinvertebrates can live in very acidic water.

What Types of Measures Are Being Taken to Improve the Water Quality That Benefit The Water Shed

There are multiple charities and organizations that raise money and awareness for protecting and cleaning the water. A lot of the them actually go out and clean the Bay and the Alice Ferguson Foundation.

How Do All of The Above Impact The Bay

Overall when it comes the Bay, even with the cleanup efforts, the Bay water remains very polluted and acidic. A lot of activity around the water including agriculture are having a big negative impact on the bay's overall health. The only thing thing above with a positive impact on the Bay is the huge clean up efforts taking place.