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New Insights: Science-based evidence of water quality improvements, challenges, and opportunities in the Chesapeake Permanent Link

Author(s): Lyerly CM, Hernandez Cordero AL, Foreman KL, Phillips SW, Dennison WC

Over the past several decades, scientists, natural resource managers, and the general public have become increasingly aware of, and concerned for the impaired health of the Chesapeake Bay. The degradation of water quality and habitat conditions throughout the Bay led to the development, and subsequent publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment- also known as a 'pollution diet.' The resultant implementation of the jurisdictions' watershed implementation plans has reinforced the need to understand the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs) to ensure compliance with local and regional water quality load allocations and targets. This report summarizes results from more than 40 case studies in the Chesapeake Bay watershed where water quality monitoring was conducted to detect benefits from implementation of best management practices.



New Insights: Science-based evidence of water quality improvements, challenges, and opportunities in the Chesapeake (Executive Summary) Permanent Link

Author(s): Batiuk, R; Hernandez Cordero, AL; Dennison, WC; Enloe, MMG; Krikstan, C; Lyerly, CM; Phillips, S

Over the past several decades, scientists, natural resource managers, and the general public have become increasingly aware of, and concerned for the impaired health of the Chesapeake Bay. The degradation of water quality and habitat conditions throughout the Bay led to the development, and subsequent publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment- also known as a 'pollution diet.' The resultant implementation of the jurisdictions' watershed implementation plans has reinforced the need to understand the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs) to ensure compliance with local and regional water quality load allocations and targets. This report summarizes results from more than 40 case studies in the Chesapeake Bay watershed where water quality monitoring was conducted to detect benefits from implementation of best management practices.



Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Natural Resource Condition Assessment Permanent Link

Natural Resource Report NPS/HAFE/NRR—2013/746

Author(s): Thomas JE, Campbell JP, Costanzo SD, Dennison WC, Lehman M, Nisbet D, Nortrup M, and Parsons M

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park provides a wealth of natural resource values, including riparian habitats, floodplains, agricultural fields, geologic exposures, rare limestone glades, developed areas, and upland forests. These resources were assessed using the Vital Signs framework. Overall, the natural resoures in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park are in degraded condition and are under threat from surrounding land use, regionally poor air quality, and overpopulation of deer. Climate change is predicted to negatively affect many of the natural resources of the park, including increasing ozone levels and particle pollution, raising the water temperature of these cold-water, trout-supporting streams, changing forest composition, and affecting exotic species and forest pests and diseases.



Catoctin Mountain Park Natural Resource Condition Assessment Permanent Link

Natural Resource Report NPS/CATO/NRR—2013/745

Author(s): Thomas JE, Bell PS, Campbell JP, Costanzo SD, Dennison WC, Donaldson L, Lehman M, Loncosky R, and Nortrup M

Catoctin Mountain Park provides a wealth of natural resource values, largely resulting from the maintenance of forest and wetland habitats. These resources were assessed using the Vital Signs framework. Overall, the natural resoures in Catoctin Mountain Park are in moderate condition but are under threat from surrounding land use, regionally poor air quality, and overpopulation of deer. Climate change is predicted to negatively affect many of the natural resources of the park, including increasing ozone levels and particle pollution, raising the water temperature of these cold-water, trout-supporting streams, changing forest composition, and affecting exotic species and forest pests and diseases.



Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Natural Resource Condition Assessment Permanent Link

Natural Resource Report NPS/CHOH/NRR—2014/760

Author(s): Thomas JE, Campbell JP, Carlstrom B, Carter M, Costanzo SD, Dennison WC, Hitchcock J, Lehman M, Nortrup M, and C. Stubbs C

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park provides a wealth of natural resource values, due to its location spanning four physiographic provinces. These resources were assessed using the Vital Signs framework. Overall, the natural resoures in Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park are in moderate condition but are under threat from surrounding land use, regionally poor air quality, overpopulation of deer, and the recent documentation of the presence of emerald ash borer and white-nose syndrome within the park. Climate change is predicted to negatively affect many of the natural resources of the park, including increasing ozone levels and particle pollution, raising the water temperature of cold-water, trout-supporting streams, changing forest composition, and affecting exotic species and forest pests and diseases.



Maryland's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan Permanent Link

"Climate change is real. Scientists agree. It's happening now. It's harmful and human-caused. We can make a difference through our actions." In 2009, Governor Martin O’Malley and Maryland’s General Assembly charged the State with developing a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan that will reduce greenhouse gases 25 percent by the year 2020. This report provides a detailed overview of Maryland’s Plan, describing Maryland’s vulnerability to climate change and detailing Maryland’s 150-plus Greenhouse Gas Reduction programs and initiatives and their associated benefits.



Helping your woodland adapt to a changing climate Permanent Link

As Maryland's climate changes, your woodland may be more susceptible to natural disturbances such as storms, droughts, insect and disease outbreaks, or other stressors that can damage trees or slow their growth. As a good woodland steward, now is the time to make smart environmental and economic decisions, and implement the most effective strategies to help your woodlands adapt to climate change. This guide explains the potential impacts of climate change in Maryland and how they may affect your woodland. Management options are described for each of these climate change impacts to reduce or avoid loss of forest cover, declines in forest productivity, and reductions in the environmental benefits of woodlands.





Maryland's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan: Executive Summary Permanent Link

"Climate change is real. Scientists agree. It's happening now. It's harmful and human-caused. We can make a difference through our actions." In 2009, Governor Martin O’Malley and Maryland’s General Assembly charged the State with developing a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan that will reduce greenhouse gases 25 percent by the year 2020. This executive summary provides an overview of Maryland’s Plan, describing Maryland’s vulnerability to climate change and summarizing Maryland’s 150-plus Greenhouse Gas Reduction programs and initiatives and their associated benefits.



Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan: Chapter 8 Adaptation Permanent Link

Climate change will affect Maryland in a variety of ways. More obvious impacts could include an increased risk for extreme events such as drought, storms, flooding, and forest fires; more heat-related stress; the spread of existing or new vector-born disease; and increased erosion and inundation of low-lying areas along the State’s shoreline and coast. Adaptation, together with mitigation, is necessary to address climate change. Climate change adaptation is an extremely complex process and there is no single means of response. This report details the many adaptation strategies taken by the State of Maryland.



Updating Maryland's Sea-level Rise Projections Permanent Link

Author(s): Boesch DF, Atkinson LP, Boicourt WC, Boon JD, Cahoon DR, Dalrymple RA, Ezer T, Horton BP, Johnson ZP, Kopp RE, Li M, Moss RH, Parris A and Sommerfield CK

With 3,100 miles of tidal shoreline and low-lying rural and urban lands, "The Free State" is one of the most vulnerable to sea-level rise. Historically, Marylanders have long had to contend with rising water levels along the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, and Coastal Bay shores. Shorelines have eroded and low-relief lands and islands (some previously inhabited) have been inundated. Prior to the 20th century, this was largely due to the slow sinking of the land since the Earth's crust is still adjusting to the melting of large masses of ice following the last glacial period. Over the 20th century, however, relative sea-level rise (how much the average level of tidal waters has risen with respect to land) has increased, at least partially as a result of global warming. This report interprets recent scientific results to produce projections useful for sea-level rise adaptation in Maryland.



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