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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #227656

Title: Managing Delmarva Agricultural Drainage Ditches for Water Quality Protection

item Needelman, Brian
item Allen, Arthur
item Kleinman, Peter
item Bryant, Ray

Submitted to: Extension Fact Sheets
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2008
Publication Date: 9/1/2008
Citation: Needelman, B.A., Allen, A.L., Kleinman, P.J., Bryant, R.B. 2008. Managing Delmarva Agricultural Drainage Ditches for Water Quality Protection. Extension Fact Sheets. University of Maryland. p.1.

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural drainage ditches are essential for draining storm and subsurface water from farmland on the Delmarva Peninsula. Ditches are unique ecosystems, having the features of both streams and wetlands. Ditches often provide the only wetland and aquatic habitats on farmland. Ditches carry, store, and process nutrients and other pollutants that result from farm activity. The engineered nature of ditch systems enables them to handle a concentrated level of pollutants. Improving ditch management not only improves agricultural efficiency, it also provides agricultural producers with important opportunities for improving water quality.