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Chesapeake Bay News


Question of the Week: Are there any real-time monitoring stations on the Bay?

Welcome once again to the BayBlog Question of the Week! Each week we'll take a question submitted through the Chesapeake Bay Program website and answer it here for all to read.

This week’s question comes from Michael, who asked: Are there any real-time or near real-time monitoring stations on the Chesapeake Bay? How can I access that data?

Maryland and Virginia have real-time, near-time and fixed monitoring stations throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. These stations collect data on salinity, water temperature, dissolved oxygen and a host of other indicators. Data for stations in Maryland are available at www.eyesonthebay.net, which is run by the Department of Natural Resources, and data for stations in Virginia are available through the Virginia Estuarine and Coastal Observing System, part of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

You can also visit the Bay Program’s Water Quality Database for a map of monitoring stations, metadata, schedules of monitoring cruises and other links related to monitoring in the Bay.

In addition to these monitoring stations, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has deployed seven “smart buoys” at various locations throughout the Bay. These buoys, known formally as the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System or CBIBS, collect data on wind, air and water temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and other environmental indicators every 10 to 60 minutes. The data is distributed to the public via the web at www.buoybay.org and by phone at 1-877-BUOY-BAY.

The seven buoys are located at:

  • The mouth of the Severn River in Annapolis, Md.
  • The James River in Jamestown, Va.
  • The Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Va.
  • The mouth of the Patapsco River
  • The mouth of the Potomac River
  • Stingray Point at the mouth of the Rappahannock River
  • The mouth of the Susquehanna River in Havre de Grace, Md.

Do you have a question about the Chesapeake Bay? Ask us and your question might be chosen for our next Question of the Week!


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