The Chesapeake River Watershed

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Study Area Determining how water quality affects aquatic creatures includes large study areas. The watersheds of both the Chesapeake Bay and the New River are largely inclusive of multiple county boundaries. A larger study area makes it simpler to come by study samples, as fish are plentiful throughout. Protecting the quality of our watersheds is important because watersheds serve many purposes to both living and nonliving organisms. “These water bodies supply our drinking water, water for agriculture and manufacturing, offer opportunities for recreation and provide habitat to numerous plants and animals.” Pollution is degrading our waters and one of the best forms to study the change in water quality is testing contaminants in fish that inhabit…show more content…
The New River watershed also extends into the northeastern West Virginia border and the northern boundary of the North Carolina state line. The Virginia portion of the New River watershed is approximately eighty-seven miles in length, with very rugged topographic features including high mountains, deep valleys, and steep ravines. An important thing to note about the New River watershed is that is one of the least densely populated watersheds in Virginia while also noting that 35% of this watershed is made up of cropland and…show more content…
The data collected for the purposes of this study was the watershed boundary dataset, which gave the national boundaries for watersheds. After a few queries, Virginia’s were the only watersheds shown. With further manipulation, the New River watershed and the Chesapeake Bay watershed were mapped (Figure 1). As shown, the Chesapeake Bay watershed appears to have numerous sub watersheds, which is not a false assumption – the Chesapeake Bay encompasses such a large area that it overtakes the Potomac River, Rappahannock River, York River, and James River watersheds (Figure 2). The New River watershed is shown in Figure 3. This watershed is significantly smaller but borders many pasture and croplands, which are more than often the most unfavorable point source pollution to water bodies. The waters within this watershed were also from the hydrography dataset. The rivers and streams in both the New River watershed and the Chesapeake Bay watershed are represented as hydrolines. The Chesapeake Bay polygon was derived from the Department of Environmental

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