Upcoming Meetings

Scope and Purpose

The Integrated Trends Analysis Team aims to combine the efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Program analysts with those of investigators in governmental, academic, and non-profit organizations to identify potential research synergies and collaborations that will enhance our understanding of spatial and temporal patterns in water quality.

Specific Goals:

(1) Gather researchers and analysts from various governmental, academic, non-profit, and private organizations for biannual meetings to identify the broad scope of on-going work related to trends and patterns of water quality in the Chesapeake watershed and estuary.

(2) Discover previously un-identified linkages among the ongoing research activities of participating individuals and organizations.

(3) Develop a standard set of analysis tools that can be applied in any relevant ecosystem within the Chesapeake watershed and estuary.

(4) Foster increased collaboration and awareness of ongoing research.

(5) Provide a forum for bringing findings to the broader Chesapeake Bay management community.

Membership in the Integrated Trends Analysis Team is currently not formally defined. If you would like to receive invitations to upcoming meetings, contact Alexander Gunnerson (agunnerson@chesapeakebay.net) to request that your name and email address be added to the Team's distribution list.

Projects and Resources

Tributary Summaries

The Chesapeake Bay Program and its partners produce tributary basin summary reports for the Bay’s 12 major tributaries using tidal monitoring data from more than 130 monitoring stations throughout the mainstem and tidal portions of the Bay. These reports use water quality sample data to summarize 1) How tidal water quality (TN, TP, DO, Chlorophyll a, Secchi Depth) has changed over time, 2) How and which factors may influence water quality change over time, and 3) Recent research connecting observed changes in aquatic conditions to its drivers.

These documents can be found on the CAST webpage here.

Maps of 2021 Tidal Water Quality Change

The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDDNR), Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ), Old Dominion University (ODU), District of Columbia Department of Energy and the Environment (DC DOEE), and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) collaborate annually to produce bay-wide summaries of water quality trends in the tidal waters. These annual estimates at more than 150 stations for nutrients, dissolved oxygen, Secchi depth, chlorophyll a and other parameters help gauge the health of the bay and identify changes due to management actions and climate. The 2021 Tidal Trends Summary document attached below summarizes these results. Additional tools are available to explore the tidal trends results including baytrendsmap and the Watershed Data Dashboard, Tidal page.

1. Long-Term Change

Observed change in water quality by station from the beginning of the period to 2021. The beginning of the period varies for stations but is indicated in the bottom right corner of the map.

2. Long-Term Flow-Adjusted Change

Change in water quality by station computed under the condition of average freshwater flow into the Chesapeake Bay over the long-term. This approach answers the question: “What would the change in water quality have been if flow had been average?”

3. Short-Term Change

Observed change in water quality by station over the last 10 years (2012-2021).

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Publications

Progress toward the Restoration of Chesapeake Bay in Time and Space

Three decades of monitoring in Chesapeake Bay and tributary rivers has allowed for an examination of the spatial and temporal patterns of water quality change in response to watershed restoration activities. This review of past monitoring data has revealed clear signs of successful water quality remediation in some Chesapeake regions. Upgrades to waste water treatment plants (WWTP) have led to measurable reductions in nutrient concentrations and algal biomass, with associated recoveries of submerged aquatic vegetation and reductions in sediment and nutrient levels. Point-source related improvements were observed in waters local to the WWTP facility, which are generally in oligohaline and tidal freshwater regions of tributaries. Reductions in atmospheric deposition of nitrogen within the Bay watershed has resulted inmarked reductions in nitrogen inputs from the Susquehanna and Potomac Rivers, and these reductions in watershed input have resulted in lower concentrations within the estuary. Coastal plain watersheds with high agricultural intensity continue to yield high amounts of nutrients, and water quality has not improved in the receiving waters of many of these tributaries. Signs of eutrophication remediation are clearest where nutrient load reductions are large and local. In more seaward estuarine reaches, recovery from eutrophication appears to be season- and regionspecific, where the late growing season period in high-salinity waters, which is most vulnerable to nutrient limitation and oxygen replenishment, appear to have recovered first. These findings suggest a refinement of our existing conceptual models of the eutrophication process in Chesapeake Bay, where time of year and proximity to nutrient sources are important to understanding spatial and temporal variation in recovery.

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Progress toward the Restoration of Chesapeake Bay in Time and Space - Executive Summary

Three decades of monitoring in Chesapeake Bay and tributary rivers has allowed for an examination of the spatial and temporal patterns of water quality change in response to watershed restoration activities. This review of past monitoring data has revealed clear signs of successful water quality remediation in some Chesapeake regions. Upgrades to waste water treatment plants (WWTP) have led to measurable reductions in nutrient concentrations and algal biomass, with associated recoveries of submerged aquatic vegetation and reductions in sediment and nutrient levels. Point-source related improvements were observed in waters local to the WWTP facility, which are generally in oligohaline and tidal freshwater regions of tributaries. Reductions in atmospheric deposition of nitrogen within the Bay watershed has resulted inmarked reductions in nitrogen inputs from the Susquehanna and Potomac Rivers, and these reductions in watershed input have resulted in lower concentrations within the estuary. Coastal plain watersheds with high agricultural intensity continue to yield high amounts of nutrients, and water quality has not improved in the receiving waters of many of these tributaries. Signs of eutrophication remediation are clearest where nutrient load reductions are large and local. In more seaward estuarine reaches, recovery from eutrophication appears to be season- and regionspecific, where the late growing season period in high-salinity waters, which is most vulnerable to nutrient limitation and oxygen replenishment, appear to have recovered first. These findings suggest a refinement of our existing conceptual models of the eutrophication process in Chesapeake Bay, where time of year and proximity to nutrient sources are important to understanding spatial and temporal variation in recovery.

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Nutrient Improvements in Chesapeake Bay: Direct Effect of Load Reductions and Implications for Coast

Link to the document.

Citation: Rebecca R. Murphy, Jennifer Keisman, Jon Harcum, Renee R. Karrh, Mike Lane, Elgin S. Perry, and Qian Zhang, 2021. "Nutrient Improvements in Chesapeake Bay: Direct Effect of Load Reductions and Implications for Coastal Management", Environmental Science & Technology 2022 56 (1), 260-270. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.1c05388

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Members

Breck Sullivan (Coordinator), Scientific, Technical Assessment & Reporting Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  bsullivan@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5788
Kaylyn Gootman (Coordinator), Life Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  Gootman.Kaylyn@epa.gov
Phone:  (410) 267-5705
Alex Gunnerson (Staffer), Scientific, Technical Assessment, and Reporting Team Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  agunnerson@chesapeakebay.net
Rebecca Murphy, Water Quality Analyst, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  rmurphy@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-9837
Qian Zhang, Data Analyst, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  qzhang@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-5794
Peter Tango, Monitoring Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Address:
1750 Forest Drive Suite 130
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  ptango@chesapeakebay.net
Phone:  (410) 267-9875
Elgin Perry, Independent Consultant
Address:
410 Severn Ave
Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Email:  eperry@chesapeake.net
Michael Lane, Old Dominion University (ODU)
Address:
5115 Hampton Boulevard
Norfolk, Virginia 23529

Email:  mflane@odu.edu
Renee Karrh, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Address:
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Email:  rkarrh@DNR.STATE.MD.US
Carl Friedrichs, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)
Address:
Rt. 1208 Greate Rd.
Gloucester point, Virginia 23062-1346

Email:  cfried@vims.edu