An Overview of Chesapeake Bay Estimated Streamflow and Water-Quality Loads and Trends

Science Center Objects

Explore resources here, and find:

(1) Estimates of streamflow entering Chesapeake Bay.

(2) Water-quality load and trend results for nontidal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The health of the Chesapeake Bay is largely driven by changes in streamflow and the amount of pollution it contains. Runoff in the Chesapeake Bay watershed carries pollutants, such as nutrients and sediments, to rivers and streams that drain to the Bay. Scientists use estimated streamflow entering the Chesapeake Bay to assess the health of the Bay and make ecological forecasts.


Estimated streamflow entering the Chesapeake Bay is computed monthly and annually using streamflow measurements from the Susquehanna, Potomac, and James Rivers.

Water-Quality Loads and Trends

The Chesapeake Bay Nontidal Monitoring Program quantifies nutrient and sediment loads in the Chesapeake Bay's nontidal rivers and estimates changes over time (trends) in these nutrients and sediments.

Many resources are available describing Chesapeake Bay streamflow and water-quality loads and trends.

Click here to learn more about Chesapeake Bay streamflow

Click here to learn more about Chesapeake Bay non-tidal water-quality loads and trends