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U.S. Geological Survey Chesapeake Bay Studies: Scientific Solutions for a Healthy Bay and Watershed

July 2, 2006

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the science agency for the Department of Interior (DOI), has the critical role of providing objective science to document and understand ecosystem change in the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. The human population in the Bay watershed, which grew from 8.1 million in 1950 to almost 16 million in 2000, has resulted in degraded water quality, loss of habitat, and declines in fish and bird populations. USGS scientists are leaders in understanding cause and effect of human activities and natural changes on water quality and the health of the ecosystem. The USGS interacts with resource managers and policy makers to use the science to adapt approaches for implementation, and assess effectiveness of, management actions for ecosystem conservation, restoration, and sustainability.

Since the mid-1980s, the USGS has been an active partner in the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), a multi-agency partnership led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working to achieve the restoration goals set forth in the Chesapeake 2000 agreement. This agreement established over 100 restoration commitments to be addressed by 2010. In 2005, which was the mid-point of the agreement, there was growing concern at all levels of government and by the public that ecological conditions in the Bay and its watershed had not significantly improved. The slow rate of improvement, coupled with the projected impact of human-population increase in the Bay watershed (fig. 1), implied that many desired ecological conditions will not be achieved by 2010. To address these challenges, the USGS wrote a new science plan for 2006-2011, and is synthesizing key findings to highlight the accomplishments from science activities for 2000-2005.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2006
Title U.S. Geological Survey Chesapeake Bay Studies: Scientific Solutions for a Healthy Bay and Watershed
DOI 10.3133/fs20063046
Authors Scott Phillips
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 2006-3046
Index ID fs20063046
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Maryland Water Science Center