Scope and Purpose
Hypoxic (low dissolved oxygen) conditions, caused by excess nutrient loads from across the watershed, are a critical stressor for living resources in the Chesapeake Bay. These conditions are projected to worsen with increases in temperature and precipitation. Traditional water column monitoring in the Chesapeake Bay is designed for annual and seasonal insight, but it does not capture short-term dynamic events. High frequency monitoring throughout the water column would improve measurements of hypoxic volume. The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Science Technical Assessment & Reporting (STAR) has tasked this collaborative team with the design and implementation of a bay-wide high-frequency hypoxia profiling network to improve the monitoring and assessment of the Bay. Management applications of the hypoxia monitoring network include WQ criteria assessment and condition of fish habitat.
The development of this network draws together a diverse team of stakeholders consisting of representatives from federal and state government, as well monitoring and modeling experts from the research community. The team will focus on developing a sampling design, defining agency roles and responsibilities, documenting operational costs, recommending QA/QC protocols, prioritizing near term data products and management applications, and designing an analytical framework and model integration. All findings from the collaborative team will be provided in a final report to STAR and broader Chesapeake Bay Program partnership.