Stronghold Watersheds


This dataset identifies Maryland watersheds of Statewide importance that support high fish, amphibian, reptile and mussel biodiversity.

Data Layer Description


Maryland Department of Natural Resources



Scale: unknown


In its 17 years of assessing the health of Maryland’s streams, the Maryland Biological Stream Survey has identified those watersheds around the State that are most important for the protection of Maryland’s aquatic biodiversity. Known as Maryland’s “Stronghold Watersheds”, these locations are the places where rare, threatened, or endangered species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, or mussels have the highest numbers.

Most of these species used to have greater abundance and distribution throughout the State, but now are holding out in these limited areas. Generally, these species are the most sensitive to environmental degradation. A small change in watershed or stream health can permanently eliminate one or more of these sensitive species. As a result, maintaining the health of these watersheds is of critical importance if we are to sustain these species and the vital ecosystem services they provide.

How to get the data layer


Kevin Coyne
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Tel: 410-260-8985

How you might make use of this data layer

This data layer identifies watershed that support high aquatic biodiversity.  Minimizing impervious surface increases in these watersheds is important to sustain biodiversity.

How to get more information


Andy Becker
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Tel: 410-260-8683

Access and use constraints

Access Constraints:  None
Use Constraints:  The Department of Natural Resources makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the use or appropriateness of Spatial Data, and there are no warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use.  The information contained in Spatial Data is from publicly available sources, but no representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of Spatial Data.  The Department of Natural Resources shall not be subject to liability for human error, error due to software conversion, defect, or failure of machines, or any material used in the connection with the machines, including tapes, disks, CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs and energy.  The Department of Natural Resources shall not be liable for any lost profits, consequential damages, or claims against the Department of Natural Resources by third parties.  The liability of the Department of Natural Resources for damage regardless of the form of the action shall not exceed any distribution fees that may have been paid in obtaining Spatial Data.


Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Copyright © 2018 NatureServe. All Rights Reserved.