It’s been a tough summer for the Corsica River. After an encouraging water quality report for 2019 (see ShoreRivers for the 2019 report card https://www.shorerivers.org/report-card ), several sediment plumes resulted in visibly cloudy water. Sediment negatively affects the river in numerous ways.
- Suspended sediment decreases the penetration of light into the water, depriving plants of light needed for photosynthesis. At the same time, particles absorb warmth from the sun, which increases water temperature that, in turn, stresses aquatic life.
- Suspended sediment in high concentrations can dislodge plants, invertebrates, and insects in the stream bed and settling sediment can bury and suffocate fish eggs.
In addition to sediment plumes, water quality testing near the Centreville wharf in August indicated very high bacteria levels.
Investigations into both problems are ongoing.