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Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



The Chesapeake Bay segment called Lower Mobjack Bay Lower York River Virginia was found to have insufficient data to characterize in 1999. Therefore this area was selected for a chemical, toxicological, benthic community characterization study of the sediments in 2002. The segment was divided into 3 strata: the lower York River, the Poquoson River, and Back River, each with 4 randomly selected stations. Samples were collected in October 2002 for evaluation of conditions.

There were few significant chemical exceedances of the ER-L or ER-M in the three strata and no toxicologically effects from exposure to sediment samples from any stratum. In contrast, the Poquoson and Back River strata showed consistent community degradation ranging from degraded to seriously degraded. The lack of chemical and toxicological impacts and the intensive residential land use makes it reasonable to conclude that the likely explanation for the degraded benthic community is eutrophication. There is not, however, confirmatory data for this interpretation.


Final Report to Virginia Department of Environmental Quality