Final TMDLs Approved by EPA: Upper Pocomoke River

The Pocomoke River originates in the Great Cypress Swamp on the Delaware-Maryland border and flows for approximately sixty miles through Maryland into Pocomoke Sound at the Chesapeake Bay.  Streams are mostly non-tidal, with some tidal influence in the lowest reach of the Upper Pocomoke mainstem.  The watershed is situated in Wicomico and Worcester Counties and drains approximately 122 stream miles.  The largest towns within the watershed are Willards and Pittsville.

The designated use of the non-tidal Upper Pocomoke River is Use I: Water Contact Recreation, and Protection of Non-tidal Warmwater Aquatic Life.   The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has identified the non-tidal waters of the Upper Pocomoke River (basin number 02130203) on the 2010 Integrated Report under Category 5 as impaired by nutrients (1996 listing), suspended sediment (1996 listing) and impacts to biological communities (2002 listing).   The 1996 suspended sediment listing was refined in the 2008 Integrated Report to a listing for total suspended solids.   Similarly, the 1996 nutrient listing was refined in the 2008 Integrated Report and phosphorus was identified as the specific impairing substance.   Consequently, for the purpose of this report the terms “nutrients” and “phosphorus” will be used interchangeably.  

The phosphorus TMDL, available below, addresses the 1996 nutrient (phosphorus) listing in the Upper Pocomoke River watershed, for which a data solicitation was conducted in 2011, and all readily available data from the past five years have been considered.  A TMDL for sediments and phosphorus for the Adkins Pond impoundment was approved by EPA in 2002.  A TMDL is currently under development to address the listing for total suspended solids.  The listing for impacts to biological communities will be addressed separately at a future date.

Total Maximum Daily Load of Phosphorus in the Upper Pocomoke River Watershed, Wicomico and Worcester Counties, Maryland

(Approved on September 30, 2013)

EPA's Decision Letter EPA's Decision Letter (725KB)
Main Report

Upper_Pocomoke_NutTMDL_fa.pdf (3,570KB)

Comment Response Document

Upper_Pocomoke_NutTMDL_CRD_fa.pdf (10KB)

Additional Supporting Information

Biological Stressor Identification Upper Pocomoke River Watershed Report

Upper_Pocomoke_BSID_Report.pdf (725KB)

Biological Stressor Identification Methodology

Biological Stressor Identification Methodology(459KB)


Contact Information

Please direct questions or comments concerning this project to Maryland's TMDL Program at (410) 537-3818.