Final TMDLs Approved by EPA: Lower Wicomico River

Lower Wicomico River is located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in Wicomico and Somerset Counties.  The Lower Wicomico River mainstem is in the lower portion of the Wicomico River.  The Wicomico River has a length of approximately 33 km and its width ranges from 130 to 180 m upstream and approximately 1.6 km at its mouth (where it flows into Chesapeake Bay just south of Nanticoke River).  The Lower Wicomico River restricted shellfish harvesting area has length of 6.2 km and a drainage area of 124,790.4 acres (505.01 km2).

Lower Wicomico River (basin number 02130301) was first identified on the 1996 303(d) List submitted to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).  The designated uses in Lower Wicomico River were listed as impaired by sediments (1996, 2002), nutrients (1996), and fecal coliform in tidal portions of the basin (1996), and impacts to biological communities in the non-tidal portions (2002).  In 2004, the fecal coliform listing was refined by identifying one restricted shellfish harvesting area within the basin.  The assessment unit listing code for this area in Maryland’s 303(d) List is MD-WICMH-WICOMICO_RIVER.  The document available below establishes a TMDL of fecal coliform that will allow for the attainment of the shellfish harvesting designated use in the one restricted shellfish harvesting area of the Lower Wicomico River basin: the Lower Wicomico River mainstem.  A TMDL for nutrients was completed in 2001.  The listings for sediments and impact to biological communities within the Lower Wicomico River basin will be addressed at a future date.  

In 2010, subsequent to the approval of the TMDL by USEPA, a shellfish harvesting area directly downstream of the impairment addressed in the 2008 TMDL was listed as impaired on the Integrated Report.  An addendum has been drafted to address the 2010 fecal coliform impairment.  The watershed for the 2010 listing was fully defined within the drainage to the 2008 TMDL segment, watershed loads, and the water quality and hydrodynamics of this reach were explicitly simulated in the HEM-3D model for the TMDL.  The addendum was available for public comment from January 10, 2018 to February 8, 2018. One set of comments was received and are provided in a Comment Response Document.

Total Maximum Daily Loads of Fecal Coliform for the Restricted Shellfish Harvesting Area in the Lower Wicomico River Basin in Wicomico and Somerset Counties, Maryland

(Approved on June 18, 2008)

​EPA's Decision Letter on the TMDL Revision EPA's Decision Letter on Revision (570 KB)
​​Appendix F ​Appendix_F.pdf (891 KB)
Comment Response Document for Appendix F CRD_LWicomico_fc_Appendix.pdf (15 KB)
EPA's Decision Letter EPA's Decision Letter 
Main Report TMDL_LWicomico_fc.pdf (2051KB)

Comment Response Document

CRD_LWicomico_fc.pdf (5KB)


Contact Information

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