Oysters Safe From Severn River ‘Dead Zone’

Published: August 18, 2019

Some great news for all who love oysters and support restoration of historic oyster reefs: Conditions are good for oyster restoration and, so far this year, safe from the river’s Dead Zone.

They’re not perfect, but they’re a dang sight better than last year!

And we have the data to tell the story thanks to our volunteer citizen scientists and boat captains who make weekly visits to 41 stations in the Severn River to check on how our waterways are faring this summer.

They’re finding pretty good oxygen levels (especially for this time of year) on the river’s bottom where our oysters live.

Salinity Rebounding!

More good news: Salinity levels are creeping back up towards normal levels for a brackish waterway. We’re now finding salinity readings in the 7 to 8 practical salinity units (psu) range.

A brackish river like the Severn should normally see salinity in the 8 to 15 psu range.

However, salinity had crashed over the past couple of years due to the record-breaking rainfalls we’ve had. Last year, we only saw salinity in the 4 to 6 psu range.

Click on the pics for details at each station, which include our four oyster restoration reefs between the Rt. 50 and USNA Bridges!

And, if you’d like to help keep our water monitoring program rolling through winter, please consider supporting SRA at https://severnriver.org/donate/