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The USGS publishes peer-reviewed reports and journal articles which are used by Chesapeake Bay Program resource managers and policy makers to make science-based decisions for ecosystem conservation and restoration. Use the Search box below to find publications on selected topics.

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Filter Total Items: 892

The effects of wastewater reuse on smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) relative abundance in the Shenandoah River Watershed, USA

Municipal and industrial wastewater effluent is an important source of water for lotic systems, especially during periods of low flow. The accumulated wastewater effluent flows—expressed as a percentage of total streamflow (ACCWW%)—contain chemical mixtures that pose a risk to aquatic life; fish may be particularly vulnerable when chronically exposed. Although there has been considerable focus on
Tyler Wagner, Paul McLaughlin, Kaycee E. Faunce, Samuel H. Austin, Kelly Smalling

Evaluating water-quality trends in agricultural watersheds prioritized for management-practice implementation

Many agricultural watersheds rely on the voluntary use of management practices (MPs) to reduce nonpoint source nutrient and sediment loads; however, the water-quality effects of MPs are uncertain. We interpreted water-quality responses from as early as 1985 through 2020 in three agricultural Chesapeake Bay watersheds that were prioritized for MP implementation, namely, the Smith Creek (Virginia),
James S. Webber, Jeffrey G. Chanat, John Clune, Olivia H. Devereux, Natalie Celeste Hall, Robert D. Sabo, Qian Zhang

Evaluation and review of best management practices for the reduction of polychlorinated biphenyls to the Chesapeake Bay

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) continue to impact the environment due to historic and ongoing anthropogenic sources (for example, industrial and agricultural), despite their ban. Contaminated stormwater has been identified as a vector for PCB transport to many estuaries impaired by PCBs. Management of these regulated discharges is typically achieved by best management practices (BMPs). This revi
Trevor P. Needham, Emily Majcher, Ellie Foss, Olivia H. Devereux

Strong variation in Brook Trout trends across geology, elevation, and stream size in Shenandoah National Park

ObjectiveLandscape context structures fish abundance and dynamics, and understanding trends in fish abundance across the landscape is often prerequisite for effective conservation. In this study, we evaluated the status and trends of Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis in Shenandoah National Park to understand how these are structured across bedrock geology, elevation, and stream size.MethodsWe used
Evan S. Childress, David E Demarest, John E.B. Wofford, Nathaniel P. Hitt, Benjamin Letcher

Pesticides in small volume plasma samples: Method development and application to smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) from the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA

Nontarget organisms are exposed to pesticides following applications in agricultural and urban settings, potentially resulting in deleterious effects. Direct measurements of pesticides in biological tissues may aid in characterizing exposure, accumulation, and potential toxicity versus analyses in environmental media alone (e.g., water, soil, and air). Plasma represents a nonlethal sampling medium
Michael S. Gross, Vicki S. Blazer, Michelle Hladik

Integrating monitoring and modeling information to develop an indicator of watershed progress toward nutrient reduction goals

Eutrophication has been a major environmental issue in many coastal and inland ecosystems, which is primarily attributed to excessive anthropogenic inputs of nutrients. Restoration efforts have therefore focused on the reduction of watershed nutrient loads, including in the Chesapeake Bay (USA). To facilitate watershed management, watershed models are often developed and used to assess the expecte
Qian Zhang, Gary W. Shenk, Gopal Bhatt, Isabella Bertani

Planning hydrological restoration of coastal wetlands: Key model considerations and solutions

The hydrological restoration of coastal wetlands is an emerging approach for mitigating and adapting to climate change and enhancing ecosystem services such as improved water quality and biodiversity. This paper synthesises current knowledge on selecting appropriate modelling approaches for hydrological restoration projects. The selection of a modelling approach is based on project-specific factor

Alice Twomey, Karinna Nunez, Joel A. Carr, Steve Crooks, Daniel A. Friess, William Glamore, Michelle Orr, Ruth Reef, Kerrylee Rogers, Nathan Waltham, Catherine E. Lovelock

Using local monitoring results to inform the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Watershed Model

The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Watershed Model (CBWM) has been used as an accounting tool for the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). However, some of the fundamental parameters that underpin the watershed model may not represent local watershed characteristics at all scales. Significant investments have been made by state and local governments, and other local stakeholders, who are int
Karl Berger, Katherine C. Filippino, Gary W. Shenk, Normand Goulet, Michael Lookenbill, Doug L. Moyer, Gregory B. Noe, Aaron J. Porter, James Shallenberger, Bryant Thomas, Guido Yactayo

Biophysical drivers of coastal treeline elevation

Sea level rise is leading to the rapid migration of marshes into coastal forests and other terrestrial ecosystems. Although complex biophysical interactions likely govern these ecosystem transitions, projections of sea level driven land conversion commonly rely on a simplified “threshold elevation” that represents the elevation of the marsh-upland boundary based on tidal datums alone. To determine

Grace Molino, Joel A. Carr, Neil K. Ganju, Mathew Kirwan

Legacy sediment as a potential source of orthophosphate: Preliminary conceptual and geochemical models for the Susquehanna River, Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA

Nutrient pollution from agriculture and urban areas plus acid mine drainage (AMD) from legacy coal mines are primary causes of water-quality impairment in the Susquehanna River, which is the predominant source of freshwater and nutrients entering the Chesapeake Bay. Recent increases in the delivery of dissolved orthophosphate (PO4) from the river to the bay may be linked to long-term increases in

Charles A. Cravotta, Travis L. Tasker, Peter M. Smyntek, Joel Blomquist, John Clune, Qian Zhang, Noah Schmadel, Natalie Katrina Schmer

Your land, your water—Using research to guide conservation practices on local farms in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Agricultural lands are an important part of the economy and heritage of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and are a focus of conservation activities. Streams and rivers around farms provide communities with drinking water and recreational opportunities, but these local benefits can be impaired by elevated nutrient and sediment concentrations. Compared to inputs from the atmosphere, wastewater, and urba
James S. Webber, John W. Clune, Alex M. Soroka, Kenneth E. Hyer

Examining the complex relations between climate and streamflow in the mid-atlantic region of the United States

We explored the complex relations between climate and streamflow in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. In 124 watersheds across this region, we quantified spatial and temporal variation in air temperature (AT), precipitation (P), and streamflow (Q) from 1981 through 2020. Upward directional trends in monthly values of AT, P, and Q indicated an increase of 0.27–1.9 degrees Celsius, 0.12–

Karen C. Rice, Chris A. Mason, Aaron L. Mills