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Water Quality Standards Achievement for Dissolved Oxygen (Surface Area Assessment)

Results for 2010-2012 indicated that:

  • 55.1 percent of the Bay was attaining water quality standards for dissolved oxygen within 92 tidal water segments containing the open-water habitat designated use;
  • 23.2 percent of the Bay was attaining water quality standards for dissolved oxygen within 18 tidal water segments containing the deep-water habitat designated use;
  • 0 percent of the Bay was attaining water quality standards for dissolved oxygen within 10 tidal water segments containing the deep-channel habitat designated use; and
  • 60.4 percent of the Bay was attaining water quality standards for dissolved oxygen within 73 tidal water segments containing the migratory spawning and nursery habitat designated use.






Chesapeake Bay Waters Meeting WQ Goals for Open Water, Deep Water, and Deep Channel Uses 2010-2012

Map: Chesapeake Bay Waters Meeting WQ Goals for Open Water, Deep Water, and Deep Channel Uses 2010-2012

Date created: Nov 06 2013 / Download

This map demonstrates the attainment status of those Chesapeake Bay Program monitoring segments that have dissolved oxygen standards for the Open Water, Deep Water, and Deep Channel designated use during the 2010-2012 assessment period.


Chesapeake Bay Waters Meeting WQ Goals for the Migratory, Spawning and Nursery Habitat Use 2010-2012

Map: Chesapeake Bay Waters Meeting WQ Goals for the Migratory, Spawning and Nursery Habitat Use 2010-2012

Date created: Nov 06 2013 / Download

This map demonstrates the attainment status of those Chesapeake Bay Program monitoring segments that have dissolved oxygen standards for the Migratory, Spawning and Nursery Habitat designated use during the 2010-2012 assessment period.




October 23, 2013

What is dissolved oxygen? Laura Fabian from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) explains why oxygen is so important to underwater life and how it is used to measure water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

Produced by Matt Rath
Music: “A Moment of Jazz” by Ancelin

Importance

This indicator measures progress towards the achievement of water quality standards for dissolved oxygen for each 3-year assessment period beginning in 1985.  The indicator is fully consistent with how Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia currently list their portion of the Bay’s tidal waters, and provides a means for illustrating improvements through time.

Additional Information

Nutrients, along with sediments, are the primary causes of impairments to the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. To meet the objectives of the Clean Water Act, the EPA’s implementing regulations specify that states must adopt criteria that contain sufficient parameters to protect existing and designated uses. In 2003, EPA Region III developed Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Dissolved Oxygen, Water Clarity, and Chlorophyll a for the Chesapeake Bay and Its Tidal Tributaries. This was developed in order to achieve and maintain water quality conditions necessary to protect the aquatic living resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries from the effects of nutrient and sediment pollution. Within the publication, five designated uses were identified and described, that when adequately protected, will ensure the protection of the living resources therein.

The methodology used for the calculation of the indicator considers the achievement or non-achievement of water quality standards for dissolved oxygen within 73 tidal water segments containing the migratory spawning and nursery habitat designated use, 92 containing the open-water habitat designated use, 18 containing the deep-water habitat designated use and 10 containing the deep-channel habitat designated use.  This indicator uses a surface area-weighted approach, which factors in the relative size of each segment, ensuring we report the best available measure of how much of Bay tidal waters were achieving water quality standards in the applicable designated use areas. 

Chesapeake Bay Program tracks another dissolved oxygen indicator which measures volume (as opposed to surface area) in attainment of water quality standards for dissolved oxygen in the open-water, deep-water and deep-channel habitat designated uses.  Please refer to http://www.chesapeakebay.net/indicators/indicator/dissolved_oxygen.

Source of Data

Chesapeake Bay Program

410 Severn Avenue / Suite 112
Annapolis, Maryland 21403
Tel: (800) YOUR-BAY / Fax: (410) 267-5777
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