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Estrogenic activity response to best management practice implementation in agricultural watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

November 13, 2022

Best management practices (BMPs) have been predominantly used throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed (CBW) to reduce nutrients and sediments entering streams, rivers, and the bay. These practices have been successful in reducing loads entering the estuary and have shown the potential to reduce other contaminants (pesticides, hormonally active compounds, pathogens) in localized studies and modeled load estimates. However, further understanding of relationships between BMPs and non-nutrient contaminant reductions at regional scales using sampled data would be beneficial. Total estrogenic activity was measured in surface water samples collected over a decade (2008–2018) in 211 undeveloped NHDPlus V2.1 watersheds within the CBW. Bayesian hierarchical modeling between total estrogenic activity and landscape predictors including landcover, runoff, BMP intensity, and a BMP*agriculture intensity interaction term indicates a 96% posterior probability that BMP intensity on agricultural land is reducing total estrogenic activity. Additionally, watersheds with high agriculture and low BMPs had a 49% posterior probability of exceeding an effects-based threshold in aquatic organisms of 1 ng/L but only a 1% posterior probability of exceeding this threshold in high-agriculture, high-BMP watersheds.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2023
Title Estrogenic activity response to best management practice implementation in agricultural watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay watershed
DOI 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.116734
Authors Stephanie Gordon, Tyler Wagner, Kelly Smalling, Olivia H. Devereux
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Environmental Management
Index ID 70238543
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New Jersey Water Science Center; Eastern Ecological Science Center