News

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Water monitoring and source water protection in the Potomac River basin and beyond…

Poster of ICPRB projects.

During the lead up to the annual Maryland Water Monitoring Conference (MWMC), we at ICPRB take stock of the projects and reports that we tackled over the past year that are related to monitoring waterways throughout the basin and beyond. We enjoy sharing these projects, discussing ideas, and collaborating with colleagues on future work. Below is a list of the products that we will be featuring at our table at this year’s MWMC. If you will be attending the conference on December 15, please come by and say hi! We’ll have a lot of information, (free!!) maps, and other goodies to share.

Click on the image to open the project in a new tab.

 

ICPRB’s Featured Source Water Protection and Monitoring Projects for 2022

Source Water Protection Map

A map with information about the people and resources of the Potomac River Basin: A Vital Water Source.

Linking Altered Flow Regimes to Biological Condition: an Example Using Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Small Streams of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Regionally scaled assessments of hydrologic alteration for small streams and its effects on freshwater taxa are often inhibited by a low number of stream gages. To overcome this limitation, we paired modeled estimates of hydrologic alteration to a benthic macroinvertebrate index of biotic integrity data for 4522 stream reaches across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Considerations for Monitoring Microplastics in the Non-Tidal Potomac River

The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin’s 2022 Clean Water Act Section 106 Potomac Basin Water Quality Improvement grant included an activity to “assist water suppliers in VA, MD, and DC in developing microplastic sampling and analysis methodologies and conduct field sample collection.” This white paper, which explores the feasibility of a microplastic monitoring program in the nontidal Potomac basin, represents the output for this activity. Section 2 describes considerations for collecting and processing samples for microplastics analysis. Section 3 provides a brief explanation of analytical methods and quality control recommendations for the detection, quantification, and identification of microplastics.

Potomac River Water Quality at Great Falls: 1940-2019

This report focuses on changes in temperature, hardness, pH, total solids, chloride, nitrate, and sulfate over the 80 years since ICPRB was formed in 1940.

An Analysis of Pooled Monitoring Data in Maryland to Evaluate the Effects of Restoration on Stream Quality in Urbanized Watersheds

The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB) and the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) conducted a study to evaluate the effectiveness of stormwater management activities in central Maryland.

 Land Prioritization Mapping Project

This StoryMap explores the Land Prioritization Mapping Project which  aims to assist land conservation organizations in prioritizing specific parcels of land in the Potomac River basin to obtain the most drinking water quality benefits.

Potomac River Basin Drinking Water Source Protection Partnership (DWSPP) Annual Report

DWSPP is a coalition of water utilities and state, interstate, and federal authorities working together to amplify regional source water protection since 2005.

Rapid Response Survey of Cyanobacteria Toxin Levels Downstream of North Fork Shenandoah River Algal Bloom After Tropical Storm Ida, 2021

ICPRB staff track a multi-species algal mat from thhe North Fork off the Shenandoah River to the lower reaches of the river using ICPRBS Emergency River Spill Model.

“Chessie BIBI” Stream Health Indicator

The Chesapeake basin-wide index of biotic integrity for stream macroinvertebrates, or “Chessie BIBI,” is a multi-metric index of biological health for freshwater streams and small, wadeable rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

 

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ICPRB Business Meeting on December 2, 2022

The ICPRB will virtually hold its first quarter business meeting on December 6, 2022. Commissioners will be updated on ICPRB efforts to enhance drinking water supply resiliency, a planned revision of the agency’s strategic plan, and a discussion of topics for the 2023 Potomac Conference. The public is invited to view the virtual meeting. Please Contact Us for more information on how to attend.

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Media from around the Basin—November 17, 2022

ICPRB meeting, PFAS, and river history in this week’s Potomac News Reservoir.

Highlights from ICPRB

BOGO Map Sale

We at ICPRB are offering a great holiday stocking stuffer: buy one of our Upper Potomac/C&O Canal Mapset and get a second free! A valuable resource for canoeists, hikers and outdoors enthusiasts, this colorful five-map set is printed on waterproof, tear-proof paper. The maps include information on boating, public access sites, support facilities, camping and fishing sites, and picnic and parking areas. The maps are filled with cultural and historical information, safety tips, and contact information. Click here to learn more about the map sets.

ICPRB Quarterly Business Meeting

The ICPRB will virtually hold its first quarter business meeting on December 6, 2022. Commissioners will be updated on ICPRB efforts to enhance drinking water supply resiliency, a planned revision of the agency’s strategic plan, and a discussion of topics for the 2023 Potomac Conference. The public is invited to view the virtual meeting. Please send a request to info@icprb.org for a link to the meeting.

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Upper Potomac Map Set BOGO Sale

Maps fanned out.

We’re offering a BOGO sale on our Upper Potomac Map Sets just in time for the holidays! Buy one set of these high quality, water resistant maps for only $5 and get a second set free.

Click here to learn more about the map sets.

A valuable resource for canoeists, hikers and outdoors enthusiasts, this colorful five-map set is printed on waterproof, tear-proof paper. The maps include information on boating, public access sites, support facilities, camping and fishing sites, and picnic and parking areas. The maps are filled with cultural and historical information, safety tips, and contact information.

Click the PayPal button below to order.

PayPal button

 

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Thinking Visually with ICPRB’s Interactive Maps

ICPRB staff have been working to create a variety of interactive online maps to better engage both water resources professionals and the general public in basin data and resources.

Click on the image to open the map in a new tab.

Potomac River Basin Atlas

This map features the subbasins (HUC 8), watersheds (HUC10), and subwatersheds (HUC12) of the Potomac River basin. Users can toggle among layers to learn more about the watershed.

Wandering the Watershed

This StoryMap features the About the Basin articles on places of interest throughout the basin. The articles are written for ICPRB’s weekly Riverwatch newsletter during the summer.

Bioregions of the Chesapeake Bay

This map explores the twelve bioregions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed as they relate to stream macroinvertebrates which include insect larvae, snails, and water beetles. It is part of ICPRB’s Chessie BIBI Index for Stream Health project.

Potomac Basin Water Resources Comp Plan

This StoryMap features the wide array projects and products that were completed based on recommendations in the Potomac River Basin Water Resources Comprehensive Plan.

A Deep Dive into Potomac River History

A StoryMap that explores people, organizations, and events that make the Potomac River what it is today and what it will become.

Watershed Group Directory

This map features many of the watershed groups within the basin to encourage engagement and stewardship from the public.

Land Prioritization Story Map

This StoryMap explores the Land Prioritization Mapping Project which  aims to assist land conservation organizations in prioritizing specific parcels of land in the Potomac River basin to obtain the most drinking water quality benefits.

Screenshot of the Land Prioritization Map.

Measuring Environmental Success

This StoryMap is intended for the 2023 Advisory Committee for the Potomac River Basin Water Resources Comprehensive Plan five-year review process. It showcases maps with data that could be used for metric development to track environmental progress.

Will Runoff Alter your Streamflow?

This map looks at streamflow alteration from impervious cover. We know very small amounts of impervious cover — less than 2% of watershed cover — can impact local streamflow. This site maps the characteristics that make a stream more or less susceptible to flow impacts from impervious cover. These characteristics include watershed area, karst geology, precipitation, soil characteristics, physiographic province, and slope.

 

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Register for the Nov. 19 Walk in the Woods: Antietam Along the Potomac

Join the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB) and the Potomac Valley Audubon Society (PVAS) for an easy, guided hike along the C&O Canal to learn the local flora, fauna and natural and human history of the Potomac River Basin.

The hike will be on November 19, 1:00pm.

Our hike leader, Jim Cummins, retired Aquatic Biologist of ICPRB and current President of PVAS, will walk us through the fascinating human and biological history of the area.

The hike is FREE but registration on Eventbrite is required.

Man stands next to a path in a wooded area with other hikers standing near him.

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Register for the Oct. 29 Walk in the Woods: Let’s be Smart About Winter Salt, Gaithersburg, MD

People hiking in the Frederick Municipal Forest in the fall.

Winter brings cozy sweaters and steaming cups of hot chocolate, but it also brings piles of winter salt that could end up in our rivers and streams. Winter salt harms aquatic life, plants, infrastructure and our drinking water.

Join the Izaak Walton League of America and the City of Gaithersburg on a fun and informative hike to learn more about our addiction to deicing salt and how we can all live on a low winter salt diet.

Expect to walk about 3 miles on easy terrain. Please bring your own water bottle, snacks, and bug spray (if needed).

This event is free but please register on Eventbrite in case of delays or rescheduling due to bad weather.

Izaak Walton League will be providing a Salt Watch kit to anyone interested in getting involved.

Each participant will be required to complete the following form. Copies will be available at the beginning of the hike or click here to bring your own printed, signed copy.

This hike is produced by the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB) in collaboration with the City of Gaithersburg and the Izaak Walton League of America. It is part of ICPRB’s Walk in the Woods series of hikes.