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For questions about the Countywide Stream Protection Strategy contact DEP:
The 1998 Countywide Stream Protection Strategy (CSPS) was the first watershed-based assessment of all County wadeable streams. The best available science was used to identify priority watershed areas for restoration and protection. The CSPS described management categories and management tools for protecting and improving stream conditions.
In the 1998 Countywide Stream Protection Strategy, Montgomery County first described the stream conditions in all wadeable County streams, assigned management categories for all watersheds, and developed criteria to prioritize streams for watershed restoration action plans and projects. At the time, DEP was a pioneer in using biological stream monitoring to rank and manage streams and watersheds.
The Countywide Stream Protection Strategy (PDF, 25 pp, 5.6Mb) was updated in 2003. The stream condition map was revised after the completion of a second round of countywide monitoring in 2001-2005. The priority areas and management categories identified are in use today.
In the 2003 update, all watersheds were rated on the basis of a complete data set. The 2003 update also reported on the progress the County had made in restoring local streams and wetlands and in controlling the runoff from areas built before stormwater management practices were required for new development.
In 2001 the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began its second five-year biological monitoring cycle to assess water quality conditions in all County watersheds. Previous monitoring sites were revisited to measure and compare water quality conditions and changes over time. The "yardstick" used is the Index of Biological Integrity, or IBI. DEP has an IBI for fish and one for aquatic insects.
The 2003 update to the CSPS examines trends by comparing stations that were monitored for fish and/or aquatic insects in 1994-1998 with those monitored in 1999-2001. Two data sets from the monitoring stations, which included 143 stations for aquatic insects and 139 stations for fish, were used in the analysis.
View the 2003 Stream Condition Trends Report (PDF, 4 pp, 774K)
Stream conditions from the 2000-2008 watershed monitoring cycle are now available in map format. The blue areas are in "Excellent" condition, green areas are "Good," yellow areas are "Fair," and red areas are in "Poor" or impaired condition.
View the 2000-2008 stream condition map.
The next update to the Strategy is in the planning stages. It will continue to present stream conditions for all County watersheds. Progress in restoring impaired County streams will be shared by reporting on the status of the watershed restoration program and results from the stream restoration effectiveness monitoring.
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