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 is available for public comment on the Department's website at
A 30-day public comment period for the draft documents will take place from January 10, 2018 to February 8, 2018. Copies of the draft documents have been placed in the Wicomico County Public Library:  Main Library, 122 Division St., Salisbury, MD 21801 (410.749.3612), Centre Branch, 2300 N Salisbury Blvd, Salisbury MD 21801 (410.546.5397), and Somerset County Library, 11767 Beechwood St., Princess Anne, MD 21853 (410.651.0852).  The draft document is also available on the internet at or by contacting Ms. Melissa Chatham by mail at MDE/WSA, 1800 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21230 or by telephone at 410.537.3937 (outside the Baltimore area, dial 1-800-633-6101 x3937).  Anyone wishing to review the draft documents and supporting information or needing technical information may contact Ms. Chatham during normal business hours.
Written comments may be sent to Ms. Melissa Chatham at the Maryland Department of the Environment, Water and Science Administration, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230-1718, or by email at on or before February 8, 2018. 


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)

​Appendix F Appendix_F.pdf (815 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.