Chesapeake Bay Activities


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.

New map-based narrative of mercury in the Chesapeake watershed

New map-based narrative of mercury in the Chesapeake watershed

The Chesapeake Bay watershed is a vibrant ecosystem rich in cultural significance and natural resources. However, the watershed has a history of impairment due to mercury, the primary cause of fish consumption advisories in the watershed.

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Chesapeake Science Partners Produce Tributary Summaries

Chesapeake Science Partners Produce Tributary Summaries

Several Chesapeake Bay science partners collaborated to compile tributary basin summaries for 12 major tributaries or tributary groups in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

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Quick Links

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 Summaries, Features, and Videos

Chesapeake Bay Activities Bibliography

Chesapeake Bay Newsletter

Science Activities

USGS Chesapeake Bay Science Fact Sheet


Date published: June 23, 2021

For the second year in a row, smaller Chesapeake Bay dead zone forecast for the summer

Chesapeake Bay Program — Press Release — June 21, 2021

Date published: June 21, 2021

News Feature: The complex case of Chesapeake Bay restoration

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America — by John Carey — June 16, 2021

Date published: June 9, 2021

Interagency Statement: USGS and Partners Investigating DC Area Bird Mortality Event

In late May, wildlife managers in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs. No definitive cause of death is identified at this time.


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Year Published: 2021

U.S. Geological Survey landscape science strategy 2020–2030

Across our Nation, multiple Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments are working with stakeholders and landowners to restore, conserve, and manage lands and resources to benefit fish, wildlife, and people. One of the largest Federal efforts is led by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), with multiple DOI agencies working to conserve and...

Jenni, Karen E.; Carter, Sarah K.; Aumen, Nicholas G.; Bowen, Zachary H.; Bradford, John B.; Chotkowski, Michael A.; Hsu, Leslie; Murdoch, Peter S.; Phillips, Scott W.; Pope, Kevin L.; Schuster, Rudy; Steinkamp, Melanie J.; Weltzin, Jake; Xian, George Z.
Jenni, K.E., Carter, S.K., Aumen, N.G., Bowen, Z.H., Bradford, J.B., Chotkowski, M.A., Hsu, L., Murdoch, P.S., Phillips, S.W., Pope, K.L., Schuster, R., Steinkamp, M.J., Weltzin, J., and Xian, G.Z., 2021, U.S. Geological Survey landscape science strategy 2020–2030: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1484, 26 p.,

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Year Published: 2021

Nutrient trends and drivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Chesapeake Bay Program maintains an extensive nontidal monitoring network, measuring nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrients) at more than 100 locations on rivers and streams in the watershed. Data from these locations are used by United States Geological Survey to assess the ecosystem’s response to nutrient-reduction efforts. This fact sheet...

Hyer, Kenneth E.; Phillips, Scott W.; Ator, Scott W.; Moyer, Douglas L.; Webber, James S.; Felver, Rachel; Keisman, Jennifer L.; McDonnell, Lee A.; Murphy, Rebecca; Trentacoste, Emily M.; Zhang, Qian; Dennison, William C.; Swanson, Sky; Walsh, Brianne; Hawkey, Jane; Taillie, Dylan
Hyer, K.E., Phillips, S.W., Ator, S.W., Moyer, D.L., Webber, J.S., Felver, R., Keisman, J.L., McDonnell, L.A., Murphy, R., Trentacoste, E.M., Zhang, Q., Dennison, W.C., Swanson, S., Walsh, B., Hawkey, J., and Taillie, D., 2021, Nutrient trends and drivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3069, 4 p.,

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Year Published: 2021

Spatial and temporal patterns of low streamflow and precipitation changes in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Spatial and temporal patterns in low streamflows were investigated for 183 streamgages located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed for the period 1939–2013. Metrics that represent different aspects of the frequency and magnitude of low streamflows were examined for trends: (1) the annual time series of seven‐day average minimum streamflow, (2) the...

Fleming, Brandon J.; Archfield, Stacey A.; Hirsch, Robert M.; Kiang, Julie E.; Wolock, David M.