Ecosystem Processes

The boat, Discovery, is used to collect water samples for DNR.The ecosystem processes component measures nutrient release from sediments at four stations throughout the Bay.  This program also maps dissolved oxygen, water temperature, salinity, pH, turbidity and chlorophyll from April to October in the Patuxent Estuary.  Habitat for bay grasses is evaluated.  Bay grasses provide food and homes for many bay animals.  Information from the mapping and bay grass habitat evaluation will be used to assess Chesapeake Bay water quality criteria for dissolved oxygen, water clarity and chlorophyll and to identify potential bay grass restoration sites.  Estuarine water quality and habitat conditions are directly affected by inputs of nutrients from the sediments, especially in summer.  The magnitude of these inputs appear to be directly influenced by nutrient and organic matter loading to the Bay and they represent a "memory" of the Bay that must be changed before the full benefits of nutrient load reductions can be realized.
Bay Monitoring Info:
Water Quality Data
"Eyes on the Bay"
River Input
Water & Habitat
Nutrient Limitation
Ecosystem Processes
Benthos
Phytoplankton
Zooplankton
Bay Grasses
Tidal Fish
Research Vessel Kerhin
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