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USGS Chesapeake Bay Conference

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map of Chesapeake Bay watershed, showing locations of regional and focus-area studies
Chesapeake Bay Watershed Regional and Focus-Area Studies [larger version]: In addition to studies of regional (that is, watershed) scope, the USGS is also conducting intensive, multidisciplinary studies in three specific focus areas: the Pocomoke, Susquehanna, and Potomac River basins. These focus areas include sites of high nutrients, sediment, and toxins due to agricultural, suburban, and urban land-use practices.
On November 28 and 29, approximately 100 USGS scientists (and at least as many geese) gathered on the foggy shores of St. Michaels, MD, to attend the USGS Chesapeake Bay Conference. The purpose of this meeting, organized by Scott Phillips, USGS Chesapeake Bay Coordinator, was to update USGS scientists and managers on the new science needs and activities arising from the "Chesapeake 2000" restoration agreement. This agreement among the partners of the Chesapeake Bay Program (Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, several Federal agencies, and the Chesapeake Bay Commission) establishes ambitious new restoration goals for the bay and its watershed during the next decade. Despite nearly 2 decades of coordinated restoration efforts, Chesapeake Bay was designated in 1999 as an "impaired water body" under the Clean Water Act. One aim of this new agreement is to reduce concentrations of the excess nutrients and sediment that led to that "impaired" designation.

Reflecting the multiagency interest and involvement in USGS bay science, the lead speaker at the conference was Rich Batiuk of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Chesapeake Bay Program Office. Attending from the USGS in St. Petersburg were John Brock, Tonya Clayton, and Chuck Holmes. They presented posters discussing potential remote-sensing applications in the bay (Brock and Clayton) and results from a recent study of short-lived isotopes in the Pocomoke River watershed (Holmes). Presenters from USGS in Woods Hole included John Bratton, who is documenting long-term changes in dissolved oxygen, and John Warner, who is working on the Community Sediment Transport Model. Tom Gross of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Courtney Harris (Virginia Institute of Marine Science), collaborators on this modeling project, were present as well for their multimedia poster presentation. In all, more than 20 talks and 20 posters were presented, reflecting the full range of the USGS Chesapeake Bay science goals:

  • Improve land-cover and land-use data to understand changes in water quality and living resources.

  • Understand the impact of sediment on water clarity and biota.

  • Enhance the prediction and monitoring of nutrient delivery to the bay.

  • Assess the occurrence of toxic constituents and emerging contaminants.

  • Assess the factors affecting the health of submerged aquatic vegetation, fish, and waterbirds.

  • Disseminate information and enhance decision-support systems.

For more information about USGS contributions to Chesapeake Bay efforts, see USGS Fact Sheet FS 125-01, "The U.S. Geological Survey Chesapeake Bay Science Program," and the accompanying Web site. For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Program, see the program's Web site.

Related Web Sites
Chesapeake Bay Science Program
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Chesapeake Bay Program
multi-state, multi-agency partnership

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Honduras Coral Reefs

Black Carbon

Miami Canal Surveys

Cape Cod Lakes

Outreach African Dust Lecture

Rock Stories

Falmouth, MA Public Schools

WHFC Web Site

Meetings Coral Reefs

Sea-Level Rise & Coastal Disasters

Chesapeake Bay

Water Quality

Restoring Louisiana's Coastal Ecosystems

ArcGIS 8.1

Marine Technology

Staff & Center News Two New Postdocs

Student & Visiting Scientist

Data Management

WHFC Visitors

Cape Cod Marathon

Publications Dec./Jan. Publications List

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