Anne Arundel County’s Department of Public Works

Key Services

  • Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring
  • Habitat and Geomorphic Assessments
  • Electro-fishing Surveys
  • Data Analysis and Reporting

Project Details

Coastal Resources, Inc. (CRI) is a subconsultant on this 5-year contract to implement Round 3 of Anne Arundel County’s Biological Monitoring Program under the Department of Environmental and Cultural Resources.  CRI implemented the first year (Round 1) of this long-term biological monitoring program in 2009.  The current contract will add to the data collected in Round 1 and the 5 years of data collected in Round 2. Annual monitoring includes benthic macroinvertebrates, aquatic habitat, water quality grab samples and in-situ measurements, physical geomorphology, fish, and herpetofauna at 40 randomly selected large stream sites to characterize stream conditions in the County as a watershed management tool.  The County will be adding 40 additional stream sites in smaller drainage areas in year four of the contract period to provide greater coverage of the County’s stream resources.

All monitoring is being conducted in accordance with Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) sampling protocols and Anne Arundel County’s Quality Assurance Project Plan.  Data is collected in two index periods, spring and summer. Spring sampling includes benthic macroinvertebrate collection using a 20-jab dip-net sample in the most suitable available habitats; habitat assessments using both the MBSS method and EPA’s Rapid Bioassessment Habitat Protocols; in-situ water chemistry measurements and water quality grab samples for lab analysis; and quantitative geomorphic measurements in the form of cross sections, Wolman Pebble counts, and an abbreviated longitudinal profile.  In the summer index period, habitat assessments and in-situ water chemistry measurements are repeated, and a double-pass electrofishing survey is conducted to document the fish community.

Field data is being collected in an electronic geodatabase format, and a rigorous QA/QC program has been instituted for all project activities.  The MBSS benthic and fish indices of biological integrity (BIBI and FIBI), and physical habitat index will be calculated and compiled with geomorphic characteristics and water chemistry data to evaluate overall stream condition at each site and within each watershed.  An annual report will be prepared summarizing methods, results, and QA/QC measures.  A comprehensive 5-year report will be developed in the last year of the monitoring contract to summarize results for all the Round 3 monitoring.