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Back River (Maryland)

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Title: Back River (Maryland)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bread and Cheese Creek, Herring Run, Patapsco River, Timeline of Baltimore, Baltimore Municipal Airport
Collection: Landforms of Baltimore County, Maryland, Rivers of Maryland, Tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Back River (Maryland)

Back River
Country United States
State Maryland
 - left Moore's Run, Northeast Creek, Deep Creek
 - right Herring Run, Bread and Cheese Creek
City Essex
 - location Rosedale
 - coordinates
Mouth Chesapeake Bay
 - location Edgemere
 - elevation 0 ft (0 m)
 - coordinates
Length 9 mi (14 km)
Depth 25 ft (8 m)
Basin 61 sq mi (158 km2)

Back River is a tidal estuary in Baltimore County, Maryland, located about 2 miles (3 km) east of the city of Baltimore. The estuary extends from the community of Rosedale, southeast for about 8.8 miles (14.2 km)[1] to the Chesapeake Bay. The watershed area is 39,075 acres (15,813 ha) and includes Essex Skypark Airport and the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant.[2]


  • Water quality 1
  • Tributaries 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Water quality

river fishing, near sewage treatment plant, ca 1970

Back River is in a highly urbanized area and is subject to extensive urban runoff and other forms of water pollution. The Maryland Department of the Environment has listed water quality impairments in the mainstem river for chlordane (a pesticide),[3] and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus).[2] The Herring Run tributary is listed as impaired due to high levels of bacteria.[4] The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management (DEPRM) has classified Bread and Cheese Creek as having a “Very High Priority” for stormwater management actions, due to the large amount of trash and sediment found in it. The county recommends implementing a number of remedial activities to control urban runoff pollution, including "downspout disconnection, storm drain marking, buffer improvement, alley retrofit, street sweeping, tree planting and public education." [5]:81–90


The Back River watershed consists of 73 miles (117 km) of streams in Baltimore County and Baltimore City.[6]

  • Armistead Run
  • Biddison Run
  • Bread and Cheese Creek
  • Brien’s Run
  • Chinquapin Run
  • Deep Creek
  • Duck Creek
  • Herring Run
  • Moore’s Run
  • Northeast Creek
  • Redhouse Run
  • Stemmers Run
  • Tiffany Run

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
  2. ^ a b Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). Baltimore, MD (2005). "Total Maximum Daily Loads of Nitrogen and Phosphorus for Back River in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Maryland."
  3. ^ MDE (1999). "Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Documentation for Chlordane in Back River."
  4. ^ MDE (2007). "Total Maximum Daily Loads of Fecal Bacteria for the Herring Run Basin in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Maryland."
  5. ^ Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management (DEPRM), Towson, MD (2010). "Tidal Back River Small Watershed Action Plan." February 2010.
  6. ^ DEPRM. "Back River Watershed." 2010-06-03.

External links

  • Back River Restoration Committee
  • Clean Bread and Cheese Creek
  • Blue Water Baltimore, formed in 2010 from a merger of the Gwynns Falls, Jones Falls, Herring Run, and Baltimore Harbor Watershed Associations, and the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper
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