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Building And Sustaining Integrated Networks (BASIN)

Scope and Purpose

The Building and Sustaining Integrated Networks (BASIN) is a three phased review of the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Monitoring Networks in order to address the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership monitoring priorities in a climate of fiscal constraints. The Phase I process was a short term effort dealing with a 2013 federal funding gap of 945K. Phase II is a review of the water quality monitoring strategies, the business models and operations of the programs, understanding customer expectations, then optimizing networks and integrating decisions to sustain and build the networks out to 2025. Phase III is expected to consider the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership monitoring priorities beyond water quality to support the breadth of commitments in the new Chesapeake Bay Agreement.

BASIN Overview Paper

Phase I (June - November 2013):

The Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership’s water quality monitoring program was under budgetary pressures in 2013 resulting in a 945K funding gap to sustain the CBP tidal and nontidal monitoring networks. To address the 2013 funding shortfall, CBP-STAR and its workgroups worked with the partnership from June into August in reviewing and developing short-term options that addressed the funding shortfall. Four scenarios were derived with multiple levels of reduced Federal funding. Each scenario outlined the ability of monitoring programming at that funding level to preserve monitoring and analysis functions supporting CBP priorities for assessing water quality standards in the Bay and tracking management progress and targeting efforts in the watershed. 

The combined gap-filling efforts with financial resources of the partnership focused on the watershed and resulted in retaining all but four stations of the 126 station nontidal network for one more year. In the Bay, one winter water quality cruise is being cut from the program and nutrients will not be collected during two summer cruises in both MD and VA. Additionally, there was no financial support available for the proposed benthic index of biotic integrity recalibration effort.

Phase II (December 2013 - In progress):

The Phase II approach consists of three components:

1. Evaluation of a sustainable business model to support Chesapeake Bay and basin monitoring programs,

2. Finding alternative approaches to conducting monitoring in each of the Tidal and Nontidal networks, and

3. Assess the primary products that the monitoring program is expected to deliver to its customers.

The first two components are being addressed using the case study panels that reached long-term water quality monitoring programs around the U.S., Australia, and Ireland. Water Quality Monitoring Workgroups under the CBP Scientific, Technical Assessment, and Reporting Team (STAR), are engaged in discussions regarding alternative monitoring approaches and their funding implications. The last component of assessing customer expectations is in progress, being carried out through a collection of surveys and discussion groups. The final product of Phase II will be the BASIN Water Quality Report to inform management decisions with the findings of the Phase II activities.

Phase III (Timeline TBD):

The Phase III of BASIN will be a cooperative effort between STAR and Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) to expand monitoring in support of the New Chesapeake Bay Agreement.


  • Bill Dennison (Co-Chair), University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES)
  • Mark Bennett (Co-Chair), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Scott Phillips (Vice-Chair), USGS Chesapeake Bay
  • Peter Tango (Coordinator), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Lea Rubin (Staff), Chesapeake Research Consortium

  • Kirk Havens, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)
  • Carl Hershner, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)
  • Denise Wardrop, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)

BASIN Phase II: Alternative Approaches to Monitoring, Funding Network, and Delivery to Customers

The Phase II approach consists of three components:

1. Evaluation of a sustainable business model to support Chesapeake Bay and basin monitoring programs,

2. Finding alternative approaches to conducting monitoring in each of the Tidal and Nontidal networks, and

3. Assess the primary products that the monitoring program is expected to deliver to its customers.

The first two components are being addressed using the case study panels that reached long-term water quality monitoring programs around the U.S., Australia, and Ireland. Water Quality Monitoring Workgroups under the CBP Scientific, Technical Assessment, and Reporting Team (STAR), are engaged in discussions regarding alternative monitoring approaches and thier funding implications. The last component of assessing customer expectations is in progress, being carried out through a collection of surveys and discussion groups. The final product of Phase II will be the BASIN Water Quality Report to inform management decisions with the findings of the Phase II activities.

BASIN Phase II Discussions:

March 2014 Tidal Monitoring and Analysis Workgroup Conference Call

BASIN Phase II Review (Webinar by Bill Dennison of IAN, UMCES) to download audio or slides

BASIN Upade and Next Steps (STAR Meeting 4/24/2014)

Customer Expectations Plan for BASIN Phase II (STAR Meeting 4/24/2014)

 

BASIN Case Studies:

BASIN Phase I: Short Term FY13 Funding Gap Filling Options

The Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership’s water quality monitoring program was under budgetary pressures in 2013 resulting in a 945K funding gap to sustain the CBP tidal and nontidal monitoring networks. To address the 2013 funding shortfall, CBP-STAR and its workgroups worked with the partnership from June into August in reviewing and developing short-term options that addressed the funding shortfall. Four scenarios were derived with multiple levels of reduced Federal funding. Each scenario outlined the ability of monitoring programming at that funding level to preserve monitoring and analysis functions supporting CBP priorities for assessing water quality standards in the Bay and tracking management progress and targeting efforts in the watershed.

The combined gap-filling efforts with financial resources of the partnership focused on the watershed and resulted in retaining all but four stations of the 126 station nontidal network for one more year. In the Bay, one winter water quality cruise is being cut from the program and nutrients will not be collected during two summer cruises in both MD and VA. Additionally, there was no financial support available for the proposed benthic index of biotic integrity recalibration effort.

 

BASIN Phase I was discussed at the following meetings:

July Tidal Monitoring and Analysis Workgroup (TMAW) Meeting (July 10, 2013)

July Nontidal Water Quality Workgroup (NTWG) Meeting (July 17, 2013)

July 2013 Scientific, Technical Assessment, and Reporting (STAR) Team Special Session -- Topic: BASIN (July 22, 2013)

 

Options for FY13 Funding Shortfall (Addressing the Management Board):



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