Mapping Stream Health Throughout Grayson County, Virginia by Testing Benthic Macoinvertebtares

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Virginia Tech


Grayson County, Virginia is home to some of the largest Christmas tree productions in the United States. With this production comes the use of a multitude of pesticides, including the insecticide Sniper, Dimethoate, and Safari; the miticide Endivor and the herbicide Roundup. These pesticides have a varying effect on aquatic life, especially on benthic macroinvertebrates. This project focused on collecting benthic macroinvertebrate samples scattered throughout Grayson County and then analyzing the samples to determine what the stream health is at the current time of year. Overall, the stream health is good and has a lot of macroinvertebrates that are sensitive to pollution present. Future research on this project should include testing throughout different times of year (spring and summer) as well as testing upstream and downstream of Christmas tree farms, the following experiment was conducted upstream of Christmas tree farms.