Chesapeake Bay Activities

Water Quality

Restoring water quality is critical for fish, wildlife, and people in the Chesapeake watershed and across the Nation. The related USGS science topics include nutrients and sedimentwater-quality changesrivers and the estuary, and fish health and toxic contaminants. The findings are used to inform Chesapeake goals for water quality, toxic contaminants, and fisheries.

Filter Total Items: 64
Date published: August 4, 2020
Status: Active

USGS develops tool to further examine nutrient and sediment trends in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the nontidal network mapper to share the short-term (2009-2018) water-year nutrient and suspended-sediment load and trend results for the Chesapeake Bay Program’s (CBP) non-tidal network (NTN). The network is a cooperative effort by USGS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and agencies in the states of the Chesapeake watershed and...

Contacts: Douglas L Moyer
Date published: July 2, 2020
Status: Active

New Synthesis Describes Current Understanding of Factors Driving Nutrient Trends in Streams of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Issue: Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus in Chesapeake Bay since the 1950s have contributed to low dissolved oxygen leading to fish kills, and poor water clarity and associated loss of submerged aquatic vegetation. The Chesapeake Bay Program partnership has been working to improve aquatic conditions in the Bay and its tidal tributaries, and streams in the watershed, by...

Contacts: Scott Ator
Date published: May 7, 2020
Status: Completed

New information on chemical and physical characteristics of streams and floodplains across the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River watersheds

Issue: Improving stream health is an important outcome of the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership. Stream conditions are important for recreational fisheries, and mitigating the amount of nutrients, sediment, and contaminants delivered to the Bay.

Contacts: Gregory Noe
Date published: April 30, 2020
Status: Completed

New dataset available on stream and floodplain geometry to inform restoration decisions

Issue: The need for stream mapping

The physical shape of streams and floodplains can provide information about how water, sediment, and other matter moves through the landscape. Streams can have deep channels (tall streambanks) disconnected from the floodplain or wide shallow channels that easily spill over the banks into the floodplain during high flows. Mapping where...

Date published: April 28, 2020
Status: Completed

New Findings on Toxic Contaminants in the Chesapeake Watershed


The Chesapeake Bay Program has a goal to reduce the impacts of toxic contaminants on living resources in the Bay and its watershed. USGS leads the toxic contaminant outcome on research to increase our understanding of the impacts and mitigation options for toxic contaminants.

Date published: March 13, 2020
Status: Active

USGS updates trends for nutrients and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Issue: The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) nontidal network (NTN) consists of more than 100 stations throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Monitoring of nutrients, sediment, and flow is conducted to provide estimates of loads and trends in the watershed. The CBP uses the results to focus restoration strategies and track progress towards meeting nutrients and suspended-sediment...

Contacts: Douglas L Moyer
Date published: March 10, 2020
Status: Completed

USGS Chesapeake Bay Highlights for 2019


Date published: February 19, 2020
Status: Active

Projecting stream conditions under future land-use and climate scenarios

Issue: Global change, particularly changes in land use and climate, is dramatically altering stream conditions throughout the world. Healthy streams are important for freshwater fisheries, wildlife, and public recreation. The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) has a goal of improving the health of streams throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which includes an outcome of...

Date published: January 21, 2020
Status: Active

USGS leads STAC report on water clarity changes over the past 30 years in Chesapeake Bay

Water clarity is widely recognized as an important indicator of the health and trophic state of aquatic ecosystems and is a key management target given the limit it imposes on the growth of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV).

Date published: January 13, 2020
Status: Active

Targeted management of a small number of catchments may help reduce nitrogen loading to Chesapeake Bay

Largest projected reductions associated with decreasing agricultural fertilizer application

Contacts: Matthew Miller
Date published: January 9, 2020
Status: Active

Type of Wetlands Affect How Much Nitrogen is Removed from the Bay’s Tidal Rivers

Issue: Wetlands are important for removing nitrogen from rivers entering the Chesapeake Bay. More information is needed on how much nitrogen wetlands can remove.

Contacts: Gregory Noe
Date published: November 1, 2019
Status: Active

New Insights on using Green Stormwater Infrastructure to Reduce Suburban Runoff

The Issue with Runoff

Across the United States, suburban development is replacing agricultural and forested lands. In urban and suburban areas, large amounts of stormwater runoff are generated from rooftops and roadways during rain events. Runoff is quickly piped to streams and rivers, leading to flash flooding, stream bank erosion, and damages to stream health....