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Beyond the Regulatory Realm: Multi-Purpose Aspect of the Maryland Biological Stream Survey

Paul F. Kazyak

Maryland Dept. Natural Resources
Tawes State Office Bldg., C-2 , Annapolis, MD 21401

Since 1993, Maryland Department of Natural Resources has been monitoring Maryland Streams and Rivers to assess water quality status and trends, identify high quality and impaired areas, target restoration and protection activities, and develop associations between stressors and biological condition. An important, and perhaps unique, additional purpose of the Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) has been to provide a quantitative biological inventory for fisheries and ecosystem management. In 2000, the MBSS further expanded to include a volunteer benthic macrovinvertebrate monitoring component- this highly successful aspect of MBSS has involved over 600 private citizens, and Quality Assurance activities have documented that sampling results are similar to data collected by professional crews. This paper will present an overview of MBSS methods, findings, data use, and lessons learned from a statewide, probability-based stream monitoring program, including biodiversity, species management, and classroom education applications.

Keywords: water quality survey; biological sampling; stream monitoring; aquatic education; aquatic biodiversity, aquatic management

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