With bicyclists and joggers passing by on the adjacent W&OD trail, Emily Maltman led a group of three volunteers in a benthic macroinvertebrate survey of Tuscarora Creek W&OD site on September 25.
The majority of the macros collected included pollution-sensitive beetles and caddisflies, as well as pollution-tolerant flat worms and worms. A handful of clams, netspinner caddisflies, scuds, and mayflies were also present. The team also discovered a water mite, which has not been identified previously at the site.
In addition to these macros, the team also collected quite a bit of trash that included plastic bags, trash bags and even Christmas ornaments!
The stream received a multimetric index score of 8, indicating that ecological conditions cannot be determined at this time. The stream also received a score of 8 last fall, but all other scores have indicated unacceptable ecological conditions.
On October 4, a diesel fuel spill traveled through storm drains in Leesburg and entered Town Branch, which is a tributary of Tuscarora Creek. Both Town Branch and Tuscarora Creek have been impacted by this, but the extent is currently unknown.