Chesapeake Bay Activities

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The Chesapeake Bay is our Nation’s largest estuary and provides over $100 billion in annual economic value. The USGS works with Federal, State, local, and academic partners to provide research and monitoring and to communicate results to inform management for the Chesapeake and other important landscapes across the Nation. See our Science page to learn about our themes and topics being addressed.

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The USGS provides estimates of the monthly and annual amounts of freshwater flow into the Bay so scientists and managers can better understand effects on ecosystem conditions.

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Chesapeake Bay Program reports slight decline in underwater grass

Chesapeake Bay Program reports slight decline in underwater grass

In 2018, an estimated 91,559 acres of underwater grasses were mapped in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.

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Learn more about USGS science activities in the Bay from our Science Strategy. Additional summaries of the USGS Chesapeake Bay Activities are available in the science topics section.

Science Features, Summaries, and Videos

USGS Chesapeake Bay Science Fact Sheet

Science activities

Chesapeake Bay Activities Bibliography

Freshwater Flow into Chesapeake Bay

Poster map of the Chesapeake Watershed

News

Date published: August 14, 2019

High flows to Chesapeake Bay continued in July

Bay Journal — by Karl Blankenship — August 13, 2019

Date published: July 29, 2019

Chesapeake Bay Program reports slight decline in underwater grass abundance

In 2018, an estimated 91,559 acres of underwater grasses were mapped in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.

Date published: July 15, 2019

Bay Journal—Article: Chesapeake states grapple with ‘forever chemical’ contaminating drinking water

Widely used in consumer and industrial products, including fire-fighting foam, PFAS are now cropping up in ground water near military bases, airports, factories.

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Typha (cattail) invasion in North American wetlands: Biology, regional problems, impacts, ecosystem services, and management

Typha is an iconic wetland plant found worldwide. Hybridization and anthropogenic disturbances have resulted in large increases in Typha abundance in wetland ecosystems throughout North America at a cost to native floral and faunal biodiversity. As demonstrated by three regional case studies, Typha is capable of rapidly colonizing habitats and...

Bansal, Sheel; Lishawa, Shane; Newman, Sue; Tangen, Brian A.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Albert, Dennis; Anteau, Michael J.; Chimney, Michael J; Cressey, Ryann L.; DeKeyser, Edward S.; Elgersam, Kenneth J; Finkelstein, Sarah A; Freeland, Joanna; Grosshans, Richard; Klug, Page E.; Larkin, Daniel J; Lawrence, Beth A; Linz, George; Marburger, Joy; Noe, Gregory B.; Otto, Clint R. V.; Reo, Nicholas; Richards, Jennifer; Richardson, Curtis J.; Rodgers, LeRoy; Shrank, Amy J; Svedarsky, Dan; Travis, Steven E.; Tuchman, Nancy; van der Valk, Arnold; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie

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Year Published: 2019

Toward explaining nitrogen and phosphorus trends in Chesapeake Bay tributaries, 1992-2012

Understanding trends in stream chemistry is critical to watershed management, and often complicated by multiple contaminant sources and landscape conditions changing over varying time scales. We adapted spatially-referenced regression (SPARROW) to infer causes of recent nutrient trends in Chesapeake Bay tributaries by relating observed fluxes...

Ator, Scott; Garcia, Ana; Schwarz, Gregory; Blomquist, Joel; Sekellick, Andrew
Ator, S.W., A.M. Garcia, G.E. Schwarz, J.D. Blomquist, and A.J. Sekellick. 2019. “Toward Explaining Nitrogen and Phosphorus Trends in Chesapeake Bay Tributaries, 1992–2012.” Journal of the American Water Resources Association 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12756.

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Year Published: 2019

Drinking water health standards comparison and chemical analysis of groundwater for 72 domestic wells in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 2016

Pennsylvania has the second highest number of residential wells of any state in the Nation with approximately 2.4 million residents that depend on groundwater for their domestic water supply. Despite the widespread reliance on groundwater in rural areas of the state, publicly available data to characterize the quality of private well water are...

Clune, John W.; Cravotta, Charles A.
Clune, J.W., and Cravotta, C.A., III, 2019, Drinking water health standards comparison and chemical analysis of groundwater for 72 domestic wells in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 2016 (ver 1.2, May 30, 2019): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5170, 66 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185170.