Scope and Purpose
The Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) provides scientific and technical guidance to the Chesapeake Bay Program on measures to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay. Since its creation in December 1984, the Chesapeake Bay Program’s (CBP) Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) has worked to enhance scientific communication and outreach throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and beyond. STAC provides independent scientific and technical advice in various ways, including (1) technical reports and position papers, (2) discussion groups, (3) assistance in organizing merit reviews of CBP programs and projects, (4) technical workshops, and (5) interaction between STAC members and the CBP. STAC serves as a liaison between the region's scientific community and the CBP. Through professional and academic contacts and organizational networks of its members, STAC ensures close cooperation among and between the various research institutions and management agencies represented in the Bay watershed.
Projects and Resources
A Comprehensive Evaluation of System Response (CESR)
Achieving Water Quality Goals in the Chesapeake Bay: A Comprehensive Evaluation of System Response (CESR) includes an evaluation of why progress toward meeting the TMDL and water quality standards has been slower than expected and offers options for how progress can be accelerated. This report is a summation of a three year investigation into the 40 year effort to reduce nutrient loads to Chesapeake Bay.
Learn more on the STAC webpage.
CESR Resource Documents
For the CESR Report, three workgroups were formed around the subsystems of the long causal chain that links management actions to their eventual impact on water quality and living resources: nutrient and sediment reductions (watershed), water quality response to nutrient and sediment reductions (estuary) and living resource response to water quality (living resources). Each of these workgroups generated an independent document with a self-determined scope (i.e., workgroups were afforded flexibility to address issues beyond the original objectives).
Learn more on the STAC webpage.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries in the United States since the 1940s. PFAS are ubiquitous and persistent in the environment and have the potential to have adverse human and ecological health effects. There are more than 12,000 unique compounds, making analysis and reporting difficult. A STAC workshop gathered speakers from Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions, federal agencies, and academic institutions, including representatives from across the Nation, to better understand the state of the science, improve science coordination, and propose approaches to improve our knowledge of PFAS. The workshop was designed to (1) summarize current understanding of sources, occurrence, and fate of PFAS, (2) identify current efforts and approaches to inform the potential effects on fish and wildlife, and their consumption by humans, (3) consider study designs, and comparable sampling and analysis methods, for a more coordinated PFAS science effort, (4) determine and prioritize knowledge gaps, and (5) provide actionable scientific recommendations for monitoring and research.
This workshop report summarizes the current understanding of sources, occurrence, and fate of PFAS and identifies on-going efforts and approaches to inform the potential effects on fish and wildlife, and their consumption by humans. The report provides overarching guidance for research and monitoring to address science gaps, foster communication and collaboration, to help stakeholders better coordinate PFAS efforts to ensure data comparability across the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Enhanced coordination among jurisdictions and agencies requires the creation of common study objectives to collect data and information based upon the media being sampled. This strategy could ensure the ability to conduct statistical analysis with “large” pooled data, allowing for a better understanding of PFAS occurrence, fate, transport, and source apportionment within the Bay and across the watershed. With the release of EPA Strategic Roadmap in 2021, the PFAS landscape is rapidly evolving. After the conclusion of the workshop, the EPA released an updated draft Method 1633 for approval and updated interim health advisories (HA’s) for perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorobutane (PFBS) and hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO) dimer acid and its ammonium salt (Gen X). Similarly, all guidance and science gaps identified in this report are rapidly evolving and should be reassessed periodically.
Ten science gaps were identified by workshop participants with six overarching actionable recommendations supporting at least one of the science gaps. The science gaps were ranked by need and binned into four categories designed to address data needs on 1) sources, fate, and occurrence more broadly across the watershed, 2) exposure and bioaccumulation across a range of species, 3) fish consumption advisories, and 4) ecological effects across a range of species, PFAS compounds and concentrations.View details
As atmospheric temperatures go up, water temperatures have been increasing in the Chesapeake Bay tidal waters and in streams and rivers across the Bay’s watershed. Water temperatures are expected to continue rising, based on climate change projections.
Increases in water temperature have significant ecological implications for Bay and watershed natural resources and could undermine progress toward Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) partnership goals for fisheries management, habitat restoration, water quality improvements, and protecting healthy watersheds. This STAC workshop examined current information on drivers and effects of rising water temperatures and sought answers to a critical question: what might the CBP partnership do now–within the scope of its current goals, policies and programs–to actively prevent, mitigate or adapt to some of the adverse consequences. Adapting to new water temperature conditions will have effects across the partnership.
Workshop preparation showed, from the outset, that the drivers, effects and likely management implications of water temperature increases are quite different between the Bay and the watershed. Therefore, both workshop days featured concurrent watershed and tidal sessions, and the findings and recommendations in the STAC report are organized in the same way.View details
The agricultural sector is a key part of the solution for achieving long-term water quality goals established by the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) partnership. Current levels of best management practice (BMP) adoption on agricultural lands are not sufficient to meet pollutant reduction goals across the Chesapeake Bay watershed (CBW). In this workshop, agricultural service providers across public and private sectors were invited to propose and discuss ideas on BMP adoption and implementation garnered from their own experiences.
The main points that emerged from the workshop are: 1) BMP adoption strategies need to be flexible and adaptable to the specific circumstances of individual farm operations (i.e., one size does not fit all), and 2) conservation programs should be designed with outreach needs in mind in order to reach a much broader range of farmers, especially those in critical source areas and those who do not typically seek conservation technical assistance. The recommendations found in this report were formulated by the steering committee based on what was heard over the course of three workshop sessions.
Visit the STAC Website for all STAC activities, resources and publications.
Kathy Boomer (Chair), Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research
8198 New Bridge Road
Larry Sanford (Vice Chair), University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
P.O. Box 775
Cambridge, Maryland 21613
Meg Cole (Coordinator), Coordinator, Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, Chesapeake Research Consortium
645 Contees Wharf Rd.
Edgewater, Maryland 21037
Tou Matthews (Staffer), Projects Manager, Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), Chesapeake Research Consortium
District of Columbia
Erin Letavic, HERBERT, ROWLAND & GRUBIC, INC.
Chris Brosch, Delaware Department of Agriculture
Craig Beyrouty, University of Maryland
Bill Dennison, STAR, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Katherine Bunting-Howarth, New York Sea Grant
Shirley Clark, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
Ellen Gilinsky, Ellen Gilinsky, LLC
Kirk Havens, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)
Jason Hubbart, West Virginia University
Celso Ferreira, George Mason University
Lara Fowler, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
Jeni Keisman, Biologist/ ITAT workgroup coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Catherine Kling, Cornell University
Scott Knoche, Morgan State University Patuxent Environmental & Aquatic Research Laboratory
Ellen Kohl, St. Mary's College of Maryland
David Martin, The Nature Conservancy
Andrew Miller, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Leah Palm-Forster, University of Delaware
Kenny Rose, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Leonard Shabman, SYSNC/Resources for the Future
Jay Stauffer, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
Jeremy Testa, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
P.O. Box 38
Solomons, Maryland 20688
Tess Thompson, Virginia Tech
Anthony Buda, USDA Agricultural Research Service
Mark Monaco, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Greg Noe, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr
Reston, Virginia 20192
Michael Runge, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)