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Scott Phillips, USGS for Severn River Association September 16, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Scott Phillips, USGS for Severn River Association September 16, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scott Phillips, USGS for Severn River Association September 16, 2014

2 Authors: Christina M. Lyerly, Ana L. Hernández Cordero, Katherine L. Foreman and William C. Dennison (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science) and Scott Phillips (USGS) Synthesis Team: Thomas E. Jordan (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center), Walter R. Boynton and Caroline Wicks (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science), Kenneth W. Staver (University of Maryland Wye Research and Education Center), Gary Shenk (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), Kenneth E. Hyer, Laura Medalie, and Peter Tango (U.S. Geological Survey), and Carlton Hershner (Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences) Science Communication, Design, & Layout: Brianne Walshe (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science)

3 U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey Outline Chesapeake Bay Issues Improving water quality What works Challenges What we need Wrap-up and Questions

4 Chesapeake is a Degraded Ecosystem  Decline of fish and wildlife  Populations  Health  Over harvesting  Poor water quality  DO, clarity, contaminants  Loss of habitat  Invasive species Caused by:  Population growth and land change  Climate variability

5 Population Bay Watershed Population Trends (1950 – 2030)

6 1. Delivers nutrient, sediment, and contaminants 2. Salinity and temperature 3. Highest in spring  Low DO and clarity 4. Varies each year 5. May be more extreme in the future Climate variability

7 Restoration:Chesapeake Bay Program  Federal  EPA  DOI: USFWS, NPS, USGS  USDA  NOAA  DOD  Six States  Bay Commission  Local governments and communities  Academic  Chesapeake 2000  Executive Order  New Bay Agreement

8  Fish kills  Underwater grasses (SAV)  CBP: Improve DO and clarity for fisheries and SAV Reduce nutrients and sediment (TMDL) Practices in place by 2025 Two-year milestones

9 Measuring Progress  Track practices  Water quality in the watershed  Improvements in DO clarity, and SAV  Monitoring programs  Summarize what works and ways to improve  Add map of monitoring

10  Review of over 40 case studies  Lessons under three broad categories: 1. What Works 2. Challenges 3. What We Need

11 1. What Works  WWTP  Air emissions  Some agricultural practices 2. Challenges  “Response times”  Population Growth 3. What We Need  Location, location, location should guide restoration efforts  Innovative practices  Monitoring What Did We Learn?

12  Upgrades in both nitrogen and phosphorus wastewater treatment result in rapid local water-quality improvements What Works

13 -Reduced nitrogen loads to the Upper Patuxent River -Resurgence of submerged aquatic vegetation Changes in TN loads (1984–2004) Data from Testa et al., 2008 Lesson 1: WWTP Data from Boynton et al., 2008 Changes in submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) (1978–2008)

14  Potomac River  Blue Plains (DC)  Fairfax County  Mattawomen Creek  Challenges:  Increasing population  Costs  Only 20% of nutrient load

15  Sources: power plants, vehicles, and manure  Power plant controls lead to reductions in atmospheric nitrogen deposition US EPA Clean Air Markets: 2009 Results Annual mean wet inorganic nitrogen deposition What Works

16 Power plant reductions are directly linked to improved surface-water quality in mostly-forested areas Lesson 2: Air Changes in nitrate-N concentrations at 3 water quality monitoring stations (1986–2009) Data from Eshleman et al., 2013

17  Cars and trucks  58% of nitrogen in air  Emission controls  More miles driven  Manure  Ammonia  Local effects

18  Reductions of agricultural nutrient sources result in improved local stream quality What Works Photo © top left: Nicholas Tonelli, Flickr; top right: Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS; bottom: USDA. Cover crops Livestock exclusion Manure management

19 Cover crops improved water quality Lesson 3: agriculture Changes in groundwater nitrate-N concentrations in 2 agricultural fields (1986–1998) Wye River area, Eastern Shore MD Data from Staver and Brinsfield, 1995 & 2000

20  Manure and fertilizer  N and P changes  Stream bank fencing  Lower nutrients, sediment and bacteria  Stream conditions

21 1. What Works  WWTP  Air emissions  Some agricultural practices 2. Challenges  Response times  Population Growth 3. What We Need  Location, location, location should guide restoration efforts  Innovative practices  Monitoring What Did We Learn?

22  Many practices provide initial water quality improvements in runoff;  Full benefits to stream conditions can be delayed Challenges -Times vary from a few years to over 100 years -Average is 20 to 30 years Sanford et al., 2012

23  Improvements in water quality can be counteracted by changes in nutrient sources and land-use practices Challenges

24 Future Development

25 Intensified agriculture has counteracted reductions in wastewater treatment plant nutrient loads in the Choptank River Increases in TN and TP at Greensboro water quality monitoring station (1968–2012) Data from Fisher, 2006 Lesson 5: Growth Increases in wheat and corn yields in the 5 counties within which the Choptank River basin is located (1926–2011) Data from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

26 1. What Works  WWTP  Air emissions  Some agricultural practices 2. Challenges  “Lag times”  Population Growth 3. What We Need  Location, location, location should guide restoration efforts  Innovative practices  Monitoring What Did We Learn?

27  Observable water quality responses are more likely to occur if A) location specific sources of pollution are identified and B) targeted practices are implemented. What We Need

28 Corsica River: -WWTP -Ag practices -Water-quality improvements Data from Batchelor et al., 2011 Changes in TN and TP concentrations in Three Bridges Branch and Gravel Run (2006–2011) Lesson 6

29  An array of practices to promote stormwater infiltration and retention are needed in urban and suburban areas What We Need Rain gardensPervious surfaces

30 Lesson 7

31 1. What Works  WWTP  Air emissions  Some agricultural practices 2. Challenges  Response times  Population Growth 3. What We Need  Types and location of restoration efforts  Innovative practices  Monitoring What Did We Learn?

32 1. Your home  Fertilize less  Capture runoff 2. Our kids  Education 3. Community efforts  Clean ups  Watershed organizations 4. Political leaders  Be informed  Tell them what you think What you can do

33 U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey Thank you and questions Report at ian.umces.edu

34 SRA’s Meet The Candidates Night  Who? Steve Schuh and George Johnson  Candidates for County Executive When ? Friday Oct 17 7:00PM Wood Memorial Presbyterian Church  See you there


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