Two major areas of concern have been identified as critical issues for Delaware’s Inland Bays— eutrophication (rapid plant growth due to excessive nutrients) and habitat loss.
Due to urbanization, agricultural activities, and low flushing rates, the Bays have become highly enriched with nitrogen and phosphorus. While these nutrients are essential for plant and animals growth , when present in excessive amounts, water quality can deteriorate as aquatic plant growth accelerates and the level of oxygen is reduced. In December 1998, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control promulgated Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for nitrogen and phosphorus for the Indian River, Indian River Bay, and Rehoboth Bay. A TMDL was promulgated for the Little Assawoman Bay in December 2004. To meet the load reductions required by the TMDLs, water quality goals include the elimination of all point sources if nutrient loading to the water bodies, along with a 40% reduction in nonpoint phosphorus loading in the Indian River Bay., Rehoboth Bay and Little Assawoman Bay, 1 65% reduction in the upper Indian Rover Watershed, a 40% reduction of nonpoint nitrogen loading in the Indian River Bay, Rehoboth Bay and Little Assawoman Bay, and an 85% reduction in the upper Indian River Watershed.
Did You Know
DID YOU KNOW?
There are at least 112 species of fish in our Inland Bays.