USGS Updates Chesapeake Science Strategy

Science Center Objects

Issue: For decades the USGS has provided critical science used to understand and improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. As the ecosystem is faced with new and evolving pressures from climate change, human development and changes in land use, the USGS has updated its science priorities to help address these growing threats. Tourism, fishing, boating, agricultural production, shipping and other commerce in the Bay and its watershed contribute almost $100 billion annually to the economy.

USGS science is helping inform conservation and restoration decisions led by the Chesapeake Bay Program, a partnership of federal and state agencies, and non-governmental partners. The partnership is working to accelerate progress toward the goals in Chesapeake Watershed Agreement, which includes improving water-quality conditions and habitat for numerous fish and wildlife species, conserving lands, and increasing access to recreational opportunities for approximately 18 million people in the watershed.

Chesapeake Bay Activities Science Center Map

USGS Chesapeake studies involve collaboration between scientists in multiple Science Centers (green dots) to conduct integrated science.

New USGS Chesapeake Science Strategy

The USGS Chesapeake Strategy has four integrated science themes:

  • Theme 1: Provide science for environmental management of stream health, fish habitat, and water quality.
  • Theme 2: Assess the risks to coastal habitats and migratory waterbirds.
  • Theme 3: Enhance landscape data and forecasting to inform watershed management.
  • Theme 4: Integrate science and inform stakeholders

USGS Chesapeake studies are increasing efforts to provide integrated science and are engaging stakeholders to inform the multi-faceted restoration and conservation decisions to improve habitat for fish and waterfowl, and socio-economic benefits to the 18 million people living in the watershed.

Collaborative USGS projects are conducted across multiple Science Centers, and are supported by USGS Mission Area Programs and partner funding.

Scientist conducts water quality sampling in the Difficult Run watershed in Fairfax County, Virginia

USGS scientist conducts water quality sampling in the Difficult Run watershed in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Credit: Ken Hyer, USGS Chesapeake Bay Activities.


For more information

A fact sheet is available for the USGS Chesapeake Science Strategy 2021-2025 at

Contact Scott Phillips ( or Ken Hyer (


Posted July 16, 2021


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