Characteristics

THE CHOPTANK RIVER WATERSHED

  • The Choptank River is 68 miles long.
  • The watershed consists of 509,000 acres which drain portions of Caroline, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot County, Maryland, and Kent County, Delaware.
  • Its major tributaries include Harris Creek, Broad Creek, the Tred Avon River, Island Creek, and La Trappe Creek, as well as the Tuckahoe River which winds north through Caroline County, and Cabin and Hunting Creeks running south into Dorchester County.
  • Agriculture and poultry production comprise roughly 60% of the land use in the watershed. The major crops are corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, and vegetables.
  • 40,320 acres are urbanized, the remainder being forest or wetland.

THE MILES AND WYE RIVER WATERSHEDS

  • The Miles River watershed comprises approximately 54 square miles. The Miles River runs into Eastern Bay and up into Kent Island Narrows.
  • Comprised of the Wye East, Wye Main Stem and Wye Narrows, the Wye River complex is just over 78 square miles, is largely tidal, yet lacks the reaches of freshwater streams found in the Choptank, rendering it a poorly flushing system. The Wye runs up to the Queenstown Outlets on Route 50.
  • The Miles and Wye Rivers, and Eastern Bay, have similar demographics and land use patterns to the Choptank River. All of these vulnerable waterways are additionally threatened by unwise development and sprawl.

All of these tributaries are struggling with agricultural nutrient, animal waste, and septic and waste water pollution, and the other problems of increasing development and encroaching urbanization.