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Predicting Criteria Achievement Under Management Scenarios: Model Simulations Inform Monitoring Data Permanent Link

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

Shenk G and Keisman JL

Chesapeake Bay Program partners have codified numeric water quality standards for several major indicators of ecosystem health, including dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration and chlorophyll a concentration. The ability to project the management actions required to attain restored conditions per these standards is critical to Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. To meet this need, we developed a method that estimates the response of the system to reductions in nutrient and sediment loads. The method uses output from the Cheapeake Bay's Water Quality Sediment Transport Model (WQSTM) under different load scenarios to modify monitoring observations in the direction predicted by the simulation. Observations are "scenarioed" and the resulting dataset is used to assess attainment of water quality standards assuming various levels and combinations of nutrient and sediment load reductions.

Novel Applications of the Chesapeake Bay Health Index 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 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.

Tools for effective science communication Permanent Link

Dennison WC and Carruthers TJB

Bill Dennison and Tim Carruthers presented a Webinar on tools for science communication for the Ecosystem Based Management Tools Network. Bill was also presenting to a live audience at the State of the Hudson River Watershed Conference in Hyde Park, NY. The web audience included participants from 23 US states and 12 countries, and was followed by a lively discussion on methods and approaches to science communication.

Conceptual Diagrams: tools for effective science communication Permanent Link

This presentation is part of a mini-workshop conducted at the Society for Technical Communication's Technical Communication Summit on June 4, 2008.

Watershed condition assessment for Rock Creek Park in the National Capital Region Permanent Link

National Parks Service: Water Resource Division - Aquatic Professionals meeting. Fort Collins, Colorado, Feb 2008

This 50 slide presentation presents preliminary results for an ecosystem assessment of the status of Rock Creek National Park. The park is a forested oasis in a rapidly developing urban landscape and hence has a multitude of pressures, however maintains a range of ecosystem services. The presentation provides a habitat framework as a potential mechanism to assess multiple and diverse landscapes.

Fine scale patterns of water quality in three regions of Maryland's Coastal Bays: assessing nitrogen source in relation to land use Permanent Link

Beckert K, Fertig BM, O'Neil JM, Carruthers TJB, Dennison WC and Fisher T

This presentation by graduate students Ben Fertig and Kris Beckert introduces preliminary results from a detailed assessment of nitrogen sources. Focusing on St.Martin River, Johnson Bay, and Sinepuxent Bay, oyster bioindicators and a suite of water quality measurements suggest that these coastal bays are vulnerable to nitrogen loads from various land uses. Trends indicated degraded water quality, high turbidity, increasing total nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations, high natural isotope abundance (δ15N), and low dissolved oxygen. While terrestrial anthropogenic pressures vary within subwatersheds, water quality in these coastal bays is also influenced by differences in flushing and nutrient cycling abilities.

Do retreating marshes create seagrass habitat? The importance of sand, plant morphology, and hydrodynamics Permanent Link

Caroline Wicks and Evamaria Koch

Sea level rise leads to marsh loss due to increased frequency of flooding. Additionally, waves make these marshes more vulnerable to erosion leading to marsh retreat. Over time, marsh retreat may create potential seagrass habitat. In the field, seagrasses were absent from the sub-tidal marsh substrate adjacent to a retreating marsh, but were present when sand (2-15 cm) overlaid the marsh substrate. Lab experiments indicated that sediment organic content was not limiting seagrasses, but that plant morphology and anchoring capacity of seagrass roots may determine the presence of seagrasses adjacent to eroding marsh shorelines. The combination of sediment characteristics, plant morphology, and hydrodynamic conditions seems to determine the growth and distribution of seagrasses adjacent to retreating marshes in Chincoteague Bay, Maryland. Retreating marshes can create new sub-tidal areas, but the local sediment and hydrodynamic conditions determine if these areas are suitable as seagrass habitat.

National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment: A Decade of Change Permanent Link

Bricker S, Longstaff BJ, Dennison WC, Jones AB, Boicourt K, Wicks EC and Woerner JL

This presentation describes the methods used in the NEEA and focuses on the national results. It also describes the Mid-Atlantic results and International case studies. The presentation was given at the 2007 Estuarine Research Federation conference.

2006 Chesapeake Bay health report card Permanent Link

Ben Longstaff, Michael Williams, and Bill Dennison in collaboration with the Chesapeake Bay Program

This presentation highlights the process that occurred to produce the 2006 Chesapeake Bay report card. The background information on the report card is discussed, as well as the methods used to produce the scores for each tributary. Additionally, the results and conclusions from 2006 are presented and solutions to cleaning up the Bay are touched upon. This effort is in collaboration with the Chesapeake Bay Program.

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