Maryland’s Stronghold Watersheds
In its 17 years of assessing the health of Maryland’s streams, the Maryland Biological Stream Survey has identified those watersheds around the State that are most important for the protection of Maryland’s aquatic biodiversity. Known as Maryland’s “Stronghold Watersheds”, these locations are the places where rare, threatened, or endangered species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, or mussels have the highest numbers.
Most of these species used to have greater abundance and distribution throughout the State, but now are holding out in these limited areas. Generally, these species are the most sensitive to environmental degradation. A small change in watershed or stream health can permanently eliminate one or more of these sensitive species. As a result, maintaining the health of these watersheds is of critical importance if we are to sustain these species and the vital ecosystem services they provide.
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Message From the Governor
The health of the Bay is ultimately determined by what we do on the land -- in our cities and towns, on our farms and forests, in our schools and backyards. The 10,000 miles of streams that run through our communities can deliver either clean water or pollutants to the Bay. It’s our Bay and it’s our choice.
Thank you for choosing to get involved in improving the health of your stream and our Bay.