Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Programs SAV Workgroup
Chesapeake Bay Program, Department of Natural Resources
Brooke Landry is Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Program's SAV Workgroup as well as a Natural Resource Biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. She has been conducting research in the Chesapeake Bay since she was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, with extended interludes of study in the seagrass habitats of North Carolina, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Brooke came to Maryland DNR in 2009 and has been serving as Chair of the SAV Workgroup since June 2015. Her particular area of interest focuses on changes in SAV habitats over time as a function of varying water quality parameters and physical influences, especially those of anthropogenic origin.
Since the early 1980s, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, with the support of the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership, and with funding from the EPA and other local, state, and federal partners, has lead an annual Bay-wide SAV monitoring effort using data interpreted from aerial imagery integrated with ground survey data. The program has evolved over the past three decades to become the most successful large-scale, consistent, long-term SAV monitoring program in the world. Because of the program’s endurance and reliability of data, SAV scientists and managers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have grown to rely on the data for a variety of purposes. With that said, the ability to identify and secure diverse and sustainable sources of long-term funding for the program have not been successful in the past several years. The program itself has become more expensive over the years as the quantity of data and level of detail, accuracy, and staff expertise have increased, while simultaneously the number and diversity of funding partners has declined significantly over the life of the survey, with increased EPA funds making up the difference over the past decade. VIMS recently and successfully re-competed for the SAV aerial survey grant from the EPA and therefore has EPA funding for the next six years. They are, however, still short on funding from additional partners (it's set up as a cooperative agreement). The program is approximately $100,000 per year deficient in funds and under threat of ending if additional financial partners aren't secured.