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You are browsing all 101 communication products for Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Bay

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2010 Chesapeake Bay Forecast (Report) Permanent Link

This summer it is predicted that the anoxic condition (no dissolved oxygen) in the Bay's mainstem will be moderately poor, with the average anoxic volume forecast to be 0.8 ± 0.3 km3. Compared to the previous 25 summers, 2010 could have the 5thsmallest anoxic volume if this prediction holds true.

Chesapeake Bay Report Card 2009 (Report card) Permanent Link

Prepared by EcoCheck and the Integration and Application Network

This report card provides a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed assessment of 2009 Chesapeake Bay habitat health. The overall health of Chesapeake Bay, assessed using water quality and biotic indicators, was the best it has been since 2002. The overall grade improved from C- in 2008 to C in 2009. Eight reporting regions had improved grades in 2009, four were unchanged, and two had slightly worse grades. The highest ranked region, for the third year in a row, was the Upper WesternShore (B-), while the lowest ranked region this year was the Patapsco and Back Rivers (F). For further details, visit the Report Card website.

A Guide to the Mid-Atlantic Tributary Report Cards (Newsletter) Permanent Link

Produced by EcoCheck (NOAA-UMCES partnership)

A variety of organizations, both government and citizen-led, monitor the health of streams, rivers, and other waterbodies in the mid-Atlantic region. Recently, a number of groups concerned with the health of watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay region have begun to produce ecosystem health report cards much like EcoCheck’s annual Chesapeake Bay report card. The goal of this newsletter is to highlight these report cards as well as the efforts of the Mid-Atlantic Tributary Assessment Coalition (MTAC). MTAC is working to further coordinate and strengthen the assessment capabilities of the tributary groups and to integrate their data with the Bay-wide report card.

Chesapeake Bay health:What causes positive and negative trajectories? (Presentation) Permanent Link

IAN Seminar Series, January, 2010

Dennison WC

This presentation is also available on the IAN Seminar Series page, where you can access the video and audio only versions, as well as transcript and discussion notes. The Chesapeake Bay Health index, comprised of three water quality indicators (water clarity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a) and three biotic indicators (submerged aquatic vegetation, benthic index of biotic integrity, phytoplankton index of biotic integrity) was calculated for 15 reporting regions to produce annual report cards. Using the same set of indicators, the Bay Health Index was calculated for previous years that data were collected by the Chesapeake Bay Program. An analysis of the data over time reveals some significant positive and negative trajectories.

Geographic Region Isolation Runs for Developing Nutrient Load Allocations for the Chesapeake Bay Restoration (Presentation) Permanent Link

Presented at the 2009 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) conference in Portland, Oregon

Wu J, Wang P, Shenk G and Linker L

Excessive nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries promote undesirable water quality conditions such as excessive algal growth, low dissolved oxygen and reduced water clarity. In developing science-based loading allocations, it was key to understand which major basins affect which areas of the Bay and by how much. A series of geographic isolation runs with the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Model was performed to estimate the water quality improvement from reductions for each major basin. The 'relative impact' of each basin was calculated as the change in the dissolved oxygen concentration in the identified segments of the mainstem Chesapeake Bay normalized by the combined nitrogen and phosphorus load reduced from that basin. This formed the scientific basis for allocating nutrient loads among major basins, with the principal that basins with the greatest impact must achieve the highest load reductions toward achieving final water quality goals.

A Chesapeake Bay Basin-wide Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (Presentation) Permanent Link

Presented at the 2009 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) conference in Portland, Oregon

Foreman KL, Buchanan C and Nagel A

The Chesapeake Bay Program and its partners developed a benthic index of biotic integrity (B-IBI) that provides a regional assessment of the health of the streams and rivers in the watershed. More than ten state, federal, and local monitoring programs collect benthic macroinvertebrate samples in the 64,000 square mile Chesapeake Bay watershed. These programs use somewhat similar field methods and calculate a common suite of indicators from the data. The challenge is that each program uses different protocols to score and evaluate these indicators in order to identify "impaired" waters for regulatory requirements. The purpose of this new B-IBI is to evaluate non-tidal benthic community health in a uniform manner and in the context of the entire watershed. Future work will link the biological health of the Chesapeake Bay to its draining watershed by comparing this non-tidal B-IBI to the tidal benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring results.

Novel Applications of the Chesapeake Bay Health Index (Presentation) Permanent Link

Presented at the 2009 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) conference in Portland, Oregon

Williams MR, Longstaff BJ and Dennison WC

An environmental health index developed for the Chesapeake Bay (Bay Health Index - BHI) has been used to describe the health conditions of 15 reporting regions from 1986-2008. This method was recently adapted to accommodate additional sampling data and a sensitive species metric in the Severn River and modified further for use in Maryland and Virginia's Coastal Bays. In this novel application, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll a were used to create a Water Quality Index (WQI), whereas hard clam abundance, brown tide occurrence and the area of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) were used to create a Biotic Index (BI). These indices were combined to create a Coastal Bays Health Index (CBHI) which showed distinct separation among the reporting regions of Chincoteague Bay and the two mainland tributaries, suggesting that the aquatic health of the Coastal Bays is strongly affected by nutrient loading from upland areas.

Computer Model of Water Clarity in Shallow Water for Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Management (Presentation) Permanent Link

Presented at the 2009 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) conference in Portland, Oregon

Wang P and Linker LC 

Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is an important habitat in the Chesapeake ecosystem. Water clarity in shallow water where the SAV grows is critical for successful restoration of the resource. The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) is assessing nutrient and sediment load reductions needed to achieve water quality standards using averaged conditions of a simulated 1991-2000 hydrology. Accordingly, the CPB is conducting all management scenarios using the estimated 1991-2000 hydrology. Observed data is critical to model calibration and verification. We present verification of the model using the shallow water and main channel observed data, and provide information for further model calibration and applications.

2009 Chesapeake Bay Summer Review (Report) Permanent Link

Produced by EcoCheck in collaboration with Chesapeake Bay Program's Tidal Monitoring and Analysis Workgroup.

Low winter and spring Susquehanna flow and loads led scientists to forecast smaller-than-average anoxia and hypoxia for 2009 summer season. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) were also forecasted to be less severe than usual, but still present. However, observed summer conditions were worse than what was predicted, due to higher precipitation amounts in Maryland and Virginia tributary watersheds compared to the Susquehanna River watershed, which falls mainly in Pennsylvania. HABs in the Bay were average this year, but interestingly, there was a large macroalgal bloom in Tangier Sound. Here we summarize summer conditions and offer some explanations as to why they may have occurred.

2008 Chesapeake Bay Report Card (Report card) Permanent Link

Prepared by EcoCheck and the Integration and Application Network

This report card provides a transparent, timely, and geographically detailed annual assessment of 2008 Chesapeake Bay habitat health. This is the third year that the report card has been released. This report card rates 15 reporting regions of the Bay using six indicators that are combined into a single overarching index of habitat health. The overall health of Chesapeake Bay was poor in 2008, obtaining a grade of C-. Health of the 15 individual reporting regions varied, ranging from B- (moderate-good) to F (very poor). For further details, visit the Report Card website.

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