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You are browsing all 6 communication products for Monie Bay, Chesapeake Bay

Watershed Management: Conservation in a changing climate (Newsletter) Permanent Link

Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Integration and Application Network

Maryland’s extensive aquatic ecosystems range from freshwater swamps and bogs to freshwater rivers and marshes to coastal bays and salt marshes. These ecosystems are influenced by precipitation, temperature, tropical storms, and human activity. Human development and pollution have degraded their natural resilience, leaving them more vulnerable to climate change and extreme events. One hundred years of data show that Maryland is getting warmer on average by 1.8°F but by as much as 3.6°F in the winter. Warmer air holds more moisture, so we should expect changes in our rainfall. Over the last century, Maryland has become wetter in March and autumn and drier in July and August. For aquatic ecosystems this may alter salinity in the Bay and impact streamflow and stream temperature, all of which could shift where species live and affect watershed restoration projects. A changing climate will mean we all have to plan for more uncertainty.

2013 summer forecast (Report) Permanent Link

Produced by EcoCheck in collaboration Younjoo Lee and Walter Boynton, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have forecasted the hypoxic volume of the mainstem Chesapeake Bay for the seventh year. The average summer 2013 hypoxic (Dissolved Oxygen ≤2.0 mg·L-1) volume forecast is 4.5 km3, with 95% confidence interval that the hypoxic volume will be between 4.1 and 4.8 km3. This is smaller than average for the time period (1985-2012). Loads are the main driver of the forecast model.

2012 July hypoxia forecast (Report) Permanent Link

Produced by EcoCheck in collaboration with University of Michigan and USGS

Researchers at the University of Michigan have forecasted the July hypoxic volume of the mainstem Chesapeake Bay for the sixth year. The July 2012 hypoxic volume is forecasted to be 6.4 km3, which is considered slightly below average. Unusual patterns in streamflow meant there were lower than normal total nitrogen loads from the Susquehanna River in the spring. Loads are the main driver of the forecast model.

Variations of δ15N in eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) as a baseline to assess waste nitrogen sources (Presentation) Permanent Link

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

Fertig BM, Carruthers TJB, Dennison WC, Altabet MA and Fertig EJ

Stable nitrogen isotopes (δ15N) in various plant and animal species are becoming more commonly measured to indicate sources of human and animal wastes biologically incorporated in aquatic ecosystems. δ15N in the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, was examined at three spatial scales. Oysters suspended above the bottom were deployed within Monie Bay, Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in Maryland's Coastal Bays, and in Chesapeake Bay. At all locations, δ15N in Crassostrea virginica offered a powerful tool for identifying and monitoring human and animal waste sources of nitrogen in aquatic systems. By deploying sessile filter feeders, these nitrogen sources can be interpolated spatially and integrated temporally to elucidate and focus nutrient reduction efforts on nitrogen sources that are biologically incorporated at different spatial scales.

Oyster δ15N as a bioindicator of waste nitrogen and degraded water quality in a sub-estuary of Chesapeake Bay (Poster) Permanent Link

Presented at the National Estuarine Research Reserves System (NERRS) in Pacific Grove, CA in  November 2008.

Once nitrogen from wastewater treatment plants and septic systems enters aquatic ecosystems, it is difficult to distinguish it from other sources contributing to degradation. The Monie Bay sub-estuary of Chesapeake Bay, just south of Wicomico River, is situated within the Chesapeake Bay (Maryland) National Estuarine Research Reserve. Monie Bay receives freshwater inputs from three creeks varying in watershed size and land use: residential septic systems (Monie Creek), crop fertilizer (Little Monie Creek), and wetlands/forest (Little Creek). Differences in oyster δ15N were used to identify different waste nitrogen sources.

Linking Monie Bay watershed land use to nitrogen stable isotopes in tissues of the native eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica (Report) Permanent Link

Fertig BM, Carruthers TJB and Dennison WC

To develop the native eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, as a biological indicator of nitrogen source, linkages between stable nitrogen isotopes in its tissues and land use adjacent to deployment stations were assessed. As part of a National Estuarine Research Reserve System Graduate Research Fellowship, this study focused on the Monie Bay component of Chesapeake Bay, MD Research Reserve, which includes Monie Bay and three similar tributary creeks which vary in their surrounding land use. This report provides evidence for a relationship between oyster tissue stable nitrogen isotopes and surround land use, and further suggests both internal and external nitrogen sources relative to the Monie Bay watershed.


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