What stream health parameters are of greatest concern and importance in Harford County?
1) Sediment: Sediment enters streams from bank erosion and runoff, especially from impervious surfaces. Excess sediment can disrupt fish reproduction and decrease visibility in the water, making it more difficult for aquatic plants to grow. Sediment can also transport nutrients.
2) Nutrients: Excess nutrients, specifically phosphorous and nitrogen, enter streams through stormwater runoff from a variety of sources, such as fertilizers bound to sediment particles. These nutrients leach into the water and cause rapid growth of algae. The dissolved oxygen in the water, which fish need to survive, is reduced as the algae decay.