The York River

By Tori, Kate, Chance, and Madoka


By Tori and Kate


- "lack of human density"

- population of 249,000 as of 1980

- Pamunkey Indians fished, hunted, and trapped along this area


- 41.9% of jobs are blue collar

- 73.3% of households are families

- $325,000 is the median home sale price

- increase in industries and cities.

- 32% increase in population within a decade

- straddles interstate 95 for appx 30 mins

- live in county, commute to others to work

- 72% of land: forest cover, 18% agriculture, 10% urban uses

- recreational use

- military use

- sewage treatment plants and oil refineries

- rapid land use changes, invalid data

- small amount of comprehensive data

Demographics Pt.2

By Tori and Kate


- population by 2030 is an estimated 584,000

- new advances in topography and satellite imaging

- 78% growth in population within next 40 years

- "cone of depression"

- conflicts due to less water

- future reservoir project

other general information:

- beds of main and secondary channels are 80% mud

- shoals of main channel are 50% sand

- brackish and freshwater marshes

- 27 sub-watersheds

- industries discharge treated water


By Madoka

Point source

1% increase from 1985-2004,63% in 2005

-sewage plants discharge wastewater with excess nutrients

-industrial buildings discharge nutrient pollution

- animal waste from agriculture(fecal pollution)

-sediments from crop farms uncultivated lands 9,600 kg per ha, cultivated lands 2,700 kg per ha

Non point source

18% decrease from 1985-2004,19% decrease in 2005

-excess sediments, fertilized soil and agriculture contributes to 30% of pollution*

-agriculture sediments, 62% of sediment pollution and 52% of pollution*

- animal agriculture loads large amounts of ammonia, leading to nitrates

-toxic chemicals such as Mercury,methane and pesticides

-urban runoff contribute to 8% of pollution

-vehicle power plant industry and nitrous oxide emissions from vehicles,electric utilities and industries are atmospheric sources of nitrogen

-tidal bay erosion from both direct tidal wave action and ocean

* based on 2005 estimates and research

Water Quality

By Madoka and Kate

There has been a overall decrease of water quality in the York river

A.increased use of fertilizers and plant growth.

.Increase of phosphates and nitrates in the river

-7.68 million pounds of nitrates(2002)

-749,445 pounds of phosphorus (2002)

B. pH levels has increased in the last 20 years Average ph of level of 8,moderately good

ppb of (1-5) and some areas 25, good

C.low dissolved oxygen levels,increase in recent years

D. Temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Average for a river in Maryland.

E.over the years, the turbidity of the York river has increased and currently the York river has a high turbidity level

- this may be because of logging and building or storms and landslides

F.24% of beneath index of biotic integrity(Macroinvertabrates)

- this is a low level and indicates a poor ecosystem

Affects on the Ecosystem

By Madoka

How does this affect living things in the ecosystem?

-low oxygen levels: which is caused by the excess phosphates and nitrates in the river.

- plants, especially algae overgrow and to block sunlight from underwater plants.

- causes lower oxygen levels and to ultimately kill fish, negatively affecting the entire ecosystem

- warmer temperatures cause the river to hold less dissolved oxygen.

- many temperature sensitive species that easily die with the disturbance of temperature. - warm temperature causes ocean dead zones,making the fish cram into small oxygenated areas. This leads to increased algae blooms

Conclusion- this all leads to the disruption of the rivers’ food-chains. If small fish die, there will be no food for larger predators making them also die and on and on until the whole food chain is unbalanced

Restorations and the Impact to the Bay

By Chance

Restorations and Protection

-Upgrading water treatment plants

-Using BMSs (best management systems) to enable farms to make less pollution

- Planting aquatic vegetations such as eelgrass and American pondweed

-managing fisheries in the area,especially for stripped bass

-restoring forrest buffers, and building new ones

-the EPA developed a pollution diet, that limits the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus put in the river

Impact to the Bay

The York river only has a negative impact to the Chesapeake Bay

- higher nitrogen and phosphorus levels

-lower dissolved oxygen

-less diversity in the aquatic ecosystem

-more algae leading to less oxygen

-disruption of the Bay's food chain

-extinction of many marine species