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USGS Chesapeake Bay Science Meeting

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On November 20 and 21, approximately 80 scientists and science and resource managers gathered in St. Michaels, MD, to attend the biennial U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Chesapeake Bay Science Meeting. The purpose of this meeting, organized by Scott Phillips, USGS Chesapeake Bay Coordinator, was twofold:

  1. to provide USGS scientists and managers with information on research needs arising from the "Chesapeake 2000" Chesapeake Bay restoration agreements and efforts (for more information, visit the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement Web site).
  2. to share updates and results from USGS studies addressing those needs.

Session topics included:

  1. use of USGS science by partners, and future science needs
  2. factors affecting the health of fish, wildlife, and their habitats
  3. data generation, information dissemination, and decision-support systems
  4. sources and impact of sediment on water clarity and biota
  5. prediction, monitoring, and understanding of nutrient and contaminant delivery to the bay.

An evening poster session included approximately 25 presentations covering all five of these major themes.

One result highlighted at the meeting was the recent publication of A Summary Report of Sediment Processes in Chesapeake Bay and Watershed (USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4123), edited by USGS scientists Michael Langland and Thomas Cronin (to download a copy of the new publication, visit the MGS List of Publications Web page).

Most of those attending the meeting were affiliated with the USGS, but representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were also present in the audience and at the speakers' podium.

Participants from the USGS' Coastal and Marine Geology Program's field center in St. Petersburg, FL, included Marci Marot, Chuck Holmes, and Tonya Clayton, all of whom are working on topics related to sedimentary processes in the bay.

Preliminary views of particle-associated optical backscatter in Chesapeake Bay before (left) and after (right) Hurricane Isabel.
Chesapeake Bay before and after Hurricane Isabel: Preliminary views of particle-associated optical backscatter in Chesapeake Bay before (left) and after (right) Hurricane Isabel. "Warm" colors (reds and oranges) indicate high concentrations of sediment suspended (floating) in the water column, while "cool" colors (blues and purples) indicate less suspended sediment in the water column. The body of water in the center is Chesapeake Bay; the estuary to the north is Delaware Bay. Atlantic Ocean waters are visible in the lower right corner. Land is shown in gray. Left, Chesapeake Bay 2 days before Hurricane Isabel made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Estuary waters typically contain more sediment than do ocean waters. Right, Chesapeake Bay 1 day after landfall; Hurricane Isabel "stirred things up." Both Chesapeake Bay and adjacent continental-shelf waters (lower right corner) contained significantly higher levels of particulates (sediment) than before the hurricane. Original SeaWiFS (satellite ocean color) data courtesy of the NASA SeaWiFS Project and ORBIMAGE (For more information, visit NASA SeaWiFS Project Web Site and the ORBIMAGE Web site. [larger version]

On the basis of their work with short-lived radioisotopes, Marci and Chuck presented a talk on decadal-scale changes in sediment dynamics in Pocomoke Sound and a poster showing preliminary results of a study of recent sedimentation patterns in Nomini Bay.

In collaboration with coauthors Chuanmin Hu (University of South Florida) and John Brock (USGS), Tonya presented a baywide view of Chesapeake Bay from space, before and after Hurricane Isabel. Also in attendance from the Coastal and Marine Geology Program was the Associate Program Coordinator, Dawn LaVoie.

Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS Chesapeake Bay Workshop
December 1999
USGS Chesapeake Bay Conference
December 2001 / January 2002

Related Web Sites
Chesapeake 2000 Agreement
Chesapeake Bay Program
NASA SeaWiFS Project
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
MGS List of Publications
Maryland Geological Survey
USGS Chesapeake Bay Activities
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Chesapeake Bay Program
multi-state, multi-agency partnership

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in this issue: Fieldwork cover story:
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Mapping Hawaiian National Parks

Research USGS and Academia in Partnership

Meetings Chesapeake Bay Science

Special AGU Sessions on Gas-Hydrate Systems

South Louisiana Sea-Level Rise

Awards Clifton to Receive Pettijohn Medal

USGS Book Wins Outstanding Publication Award

"Local Heroes" of Western Snowy Plover Protection

Staff & Center News MIT Scientists Visit Woods Hole

Three New Scientists

New Postdoc in St. Petersburg

Reef Name Becomes Official

Publications New Book on the Phosphoria Formation

Two Articles in JSR

February Publications List

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