Report: Wicomico River's Water Quality Declines - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Report: Wicomico River's Water Quality Declines

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SALISBURY, Md.- The Wicomico River Health Report was released Thursday and the results showed its water quality has gotten worse.  

The Wicomico Environmental Trust and Wicomico Creekwatchers put out the report. Judith Stribling, member of the Wicomico Creekwatchers and a biology professor at Salisbury University, said in the report that water quality was worse than the previous year.

Stribling said that there were higher levels of phosphorous, nitrogen and bacteria.

Stribling also stated the higher amount of phosphorous was due to stormwater runoff, a big problem the Wicomico River faces.

"When you have a lot of rainfall that delivers nutrients but it also can flush away the algae in the river and that can give you what looks like good water quality, but basically it's just a temporary thing," Stribling said.

Scientists like Stribling have been monitoring 22 sites up-and-down the river from March to November. And Stribling said anyone who plans on swimming in the water should think twice before they hop in.

"If it hasn't rained in a week you're OK," Stribling said. "If it's rained in the last 48 hours, do not go swimming."

Environmentalists like Keota Silaphone said that one way to fix the problem is through education.

"Next year we're really hoping to say, 'OK, we've looked at 15 years worth of data that regular people have been collecting. Let's put it out there in a way that people can digest it better,'" Silaphone said. 

Both Stribling and Silaphone said people need to be more conscious of their environment. Things we can do to improve the water quality ourselves include cleaning up any loose trash and also cleaning up after our pets. 

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