Chesapeake Bay Watershed Data Dashboard

Science Center Objects

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Data Dashboard is a collaborative project of the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership, with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other science providers.

What is the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Data Dashboard?

A large amount of scientific and technical information is available to environmental managers and planners at both state and local levels to inform restoration efforts. Much of this information has been updated or newly generated in recent years and can inform watershed restoration plan development and implementation.

This information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Tidal and watershed water quality monitoring trends
  • Living resources trends and explanations
  • Information to help geographically target restoration efforts
  • Information to help choose BMPs
  • Current BMP implementation and opportunities
  • Opportunities for smarth growth and land conservation

The purpose of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Data Dashboard is to consolidate and provide accessibility to this information in one cohesive location and to provide guidance on how and why the information should be used.

Access Watershed Data Dashboard here.

Freshwater Rivers & Streams Water Quality Module

Water quality monitoring data in the freshwater, or 'non-tidal,' streams and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay watershed provide information on pollution levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment, and how they have changed over time. Every two years, water quality monitoring data are analyzed to determine the amount of nutrients and sediment in streams and rivers, and to estimate trends in water quality conditions. This information allows planners, managers and implementers to assess progress and identify opportunities for restoration efforts going forward. 

Tidal Water Quality & Living Resources Module

Assessing water quality and living resources in the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay is essential for protecting the ecosystem and its critical living resources. Numerous efforts are underway to track and understand different characteristics of water quality and living resources in the Bay, how they're changing over time, and what drives these changes. This information allows planners, managers and implementers to assess progress and identify opportunities for restoration efforts going forward.

 

Targeting Restoration Efforts Module

Focusing restoration efforts and management practice implementation can help planners and manager get the best value and performance in water quality improvements. Targeting and prioritization can be done in many different ways, including geographically, by sector or by practice. For example, a key step to addressing nutrients and sediment is to understand their driving sources and how these sources differ across the watershed. Identifying the highest loading areas can be effective for geographic targeting. Understanding landscape factors that influence local water quality is also important for choosing and siting practices. Finally, planners may choose to prioritize practices that benefit other local goals beyond water quality. 

Management Practices Module

Implementing management practices throughout the watershed is the primary goal for water quality restoration, both for local streams and for the Chesapeake Bay. Management practices are tracked at all different levels, and eventually reported through the states and DC to the Chesapeake Bay Program. A large variety of best management practices are available to implementers. Information such as the cost-effectiveness of practices and their effectiveness at reducing pollution can help planners decide which management practices are best to implement. Additionally, understanding which practices have been highly implemented in which areas can help identify new opportunities for future planning efforts. 

Planning for Growth & Climate Change Module

The Chesapeake Bay watershed continues to develop as population in the region grows. Development and urbanization at the cost of natural landscapes can lead to increased pollution of nutrients and sediment to the Bay, especially from stormwater runoff. Utilizing conservation as a best management practice can help mitigate increases in pollution from development, and protect vital natural resources such as forests, floodplains and wetlands. Smart growth practices can also help mitigate the increases in stormwater and associated risks such as flooding. This information allows planners and managers to identify opportunities for conservation, and to find ways to incorporate restoration efforts into growth and development planning.