A Framework for a Delaware Inland Bays Environmental Classification
Since Delaware's coastal bays have been highly eutrophied for at least twenty years and Maryland's coastal bays are not nutrient stressed, dominance of the fish community in Delaware's coastal bays by Fundulus sp. may be an indicator of nutrient stress. Maryland's coastal bays are menhaden, spot, and anchovy dominated. The dominance of Fundulus sp. in a nutrient-stressed system relates to the hardy nature of these fishes, especially in low-oxygen conditions. Submerged aquatic vegetation as seagrasses (SAV) has been absent from the highly nutrient-stressed Delaware coastal bays for about twenty-five years. In contrast, SAV is still found in Maryland's coastal bays. The loss of SAV as a habitat for young fish may also be contributing to the apparent species shift in Delaware's coastal bays.
Indian River Bay is less hospitable to macroalgae (seaweeds) than Rehoboth Bay. Dominance of Ulva in Indian River Bay reflects its tolerance to varying salinities, higher nutrient levels, and increased turbidities, and indicates a stressed system. The total volume of macroalgae, especially in Rehoboth Bay, tends to follow the seasonal cycle for phosphorus.
Based on an assessment of the ecological condition of the Delaware and Maryland coastal bays conducted by EMAP in 1993 and other related studies, the author offers a conceptual framework for Delaware's inland bays environmental classification, considering the water quality parameters of turbidity, TSS, Chla, DIN, DIP, and O2 as they relate to presence of SAV, seaweed abundance and diversity, benthic invertebrate diversity, and fish sensitivity to low oxygen.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Andres, A.S. 1992. Delaware Geological Survey Open File Report #35, 36 pages.Google Scholar
- Bigelow, H.B., and W.C. Schroeder.: 1953. Fish Bull. Of Fish and Wildlife Ser., 53:577 pages.Google Scholar
- Bolen, C. and W. Boynton. 1997. Report to Maryland Coastal Bays Program. University of Maryland 71 pages.Google Scholar
- Cerco, C.F., B. Bunch, M.A. Cialone, and H. Wang.: 1994. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Technical Report EL-94-5. 246 pages.Google Scholar
- Daiber, F.C., and multiple authors: 1976. An Atlas of Delaware's Wetlands and Estuarine Resources. Office of Coastal Zone Management. Technical Report 2 Dover, Delaware 530 pages.Google Scholar
- Dennison, W.C., R.J. Orth, K.A. Moore, J.C. Stevenson, V. Carter, S. Kollar, P.W. Bergstrom, and R. Batiuk.: 1993. Bioscience 43:86–94.Google Scholar
- deSylva, D.P., F.A. Kalber, Jr., and C.N. Schuster.: 1962. University of Delaware, Marine Laboratory, Information Series, Publ. No. 5, 164 pages.Google Scholar
- Environmental Protection Agency.: 1996. EMAP EPA/620/R-96/004. 78 pages.Google Scholar
- Grecay, P.A.: 1990. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Delaware. Newark, Delaware. 179 pages.Google Scholar
- Hinga, K.R., H. Jeon, and N.F. Lewis.: 1995. NOAA Coastal Ocean Program, DAS 4, 120 pages.Google Scholar
- Linder, C.C., J. Casey, and S. Jordon.: 1996. A Report to Maryland Department of Natural Resources. 78 pages.Google Scholar
- Linder, C.C. and K.S. Price.: 1996. Inland Bays Citizen Monitor. 5(2):3–6.Google Scholar
- Orth, R.J., and K.L. Heck.: 1980. Estuaries 3(4):278–288.Google Scholar
- Orth, R.J. and K.A. Moore.: 1988. A report to Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Dover, DE.Google Scholar
- Orth, R.J., J.F. Nowak, G.F. Anderson, K.P. Kiley, and J.R. Whiting.: 1992. Final Report to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program. Annapolis, Maryland. 268 pages.Google Scholar
- Orth, R.J., J.F. Nowak, G.F. Anderson, and J.R. Whiting.: 1993. A Report for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Annapolis, Maryland.Google Scholar
- Pacheco, A.L., and G.C. Grant: 1965. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. No. 504, 32 pages.Google Scholar
- Schaffer, P.J.: 1995. Master's Thesis. College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, Lewes, DE 101 pages.Google Scholar
- Thornton, L.L.: 1975. Masters Thesis. University of Delaware. 82 pages.Google Scholar
- Timmons, M. and K. Price.: 1996. Bot. Mar. 39: 231–238.Google Scholar
- Ullman, W.J., R.J. Geider, S.A. Welch, L.M. Graziano, and B. Overman.: 1993. Report to DNREC and Delaware's Inland Bays Program. College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware. 43 pages.Google Scholar
- Vaas, P.A. and S.J. Jordan.: 1991. In. J.A. Mihursky and A. Chaney (eds.). New Perspectives on the Chesapeake System: a Research and Management Partnership. Chesapeake Research Consortium., Inc. CRC Publ. No. 137. Solomons, Maryland.Google Scholar
- Weston, Roy, F., Inc.: 1993. Report to the Delaware Inland Bays National Estuary Program. DNREC., Dover, DE.Google Scholar