Chesapeake Bay and Potomac Tidal Monitoring Programs Past, Present and Future

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1 Chesapeake Bay and Potomac Tidal Monitoring Programs Past, Present and Future Bruce Michael Resource Assessment Service Maryland Department of Natural Resources The Future of Water Quality Monitoring in Local Watersheds WMCOG Workshop December 2, 2013

2 Presentation Overview Tidal monitoring objectives primary and secondary Monitoring history: description of the various tidal water quality and habitat monitoring programs Changes to our monitoring efforts Monitoring program results Where do we go from here Building and Sustaining Integrated Networks (BASIN) 2

3 Primary Tidal Monitoring Program Objectives State s are required under the Clean Water Act to assess water quality criteria for DO, water clarity, and chlorophyll Track progress towards meeting management actions (nutrient and sediment TMDL)

4 Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Criteria Dissolved Oxygen for fish, crabs and oysters Water Clarity light for underwater Bay grasses Chlorophyll a base of the Bay food chain Together, these three criteria define the conditions necessary to protect the wide variety of the Bay s living resources and their habitats.

5

6 Refined Designated Uses for Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Tributary Waters A. Cross Section of Chesapeake Bay or Tidal Tributary Shallow-Water Bay Grass Use Open-Water Fish and Shellfish Use Deep-Water Seasonal Fish and Shellfish Use Deep-Channel Seasonal Refuge Use B. Oblique View of the Chesapeake Bay and its Tidal Tributaries Migratory Fish Spawning and Nursery Use Shallow-Water Bay Grass Use Deep-Water Seasonal Fish and Shellfish Use Open-Water Habitat Deep-Channel Seasonal Refuge Use

7 Chesapeake Bay TMDL Necessary to Meet WQ Criteria December 29, 2010 (and revised in June 2011) - set watershed limits of 1.57 million pounds of nitrogen million pounds of phosphorus 7.34 billion pounds of sediment To be achieved by 2025 in 6 Bay Watershed States and the District of Columbia

8 EPA Announces Jurisdiction Allocations Jurisdiction Nitrogen Phosphorus Sediment (million lbs/yr) Maryland New York Pennsylvania DC West Virginia Delaware Virginia TOTAL (million lbs/yr) (million lbs/yr) Note: Atmospheric deposition is an additional 15.7 million lbs for N

9 Secondary Tidal Monitoring Program Objectives Long-term Fixed Status - Characterize existing conditions Trends - Evaluate changes in response to nutrient reductions Understand ecosystem processes as they relate to management actions Model support Research and education Continuous Monitoring Represents upstream and downstream conditions Calibration for water quality mapping Event based monitoring fish kills, algal blooms, storm impacts Water Quality Mapping Targeting submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) restoration activities Assessing habitat for fish and other living resources biweekly calibration with full suite of nutrients, light attenuation, chlorophyll and total suspended solids

10 Maryland Tidal Water Quality Monitoring Description Continuous In Situ Monitoring Intensive / Shallow Water Monitoring Component 31 Monitors in 2013 Includes 1 Vertical Profiler and 1 buoy with associated bottom monitors. Data collected every 15 minutes Parameters: D.O., Turbidity, Chlorophyll W.Temp, Salinity, ph, Depth Calibration Data Every 2 weeks Water Quality Mapping 7 Monthly cruises Apr.-Oct in 2013 over large areas. Data collected every 4 seconds in transit Parameters: D.O., Turbidity, Chlorophyll W.Temp, Salinity, ph, Water Depth Calibration Data at ~5 Sites each Cruise Long-Term Fixed Station Monitoring Monthly/Twice Monthly cruises year round Collected Since Stations Full suite of parameters and depth profiles

11 New Technologies - Water Quality Profiler

12 Area of DATAFLOW Collection New Technologies: Use of Satellite Data to Guide Field Sampling A 1-mile long fish kill as reported by MDE occurred on August 16/17, 2005 near Marker 66 in the Chesapeake Bay off of Smith Island. Brownish-red water was observed in a television video of the fish kill. MODIS Satellite Chlorophyll Main Bay Near Marker 66 off of Smith Island shows bloom conditions on August 15 and 17 (Above). Water Quality Mapping Data collected on August 18, 2005 with the DATAFLOW/DATAVIEW system shows low chlorophyll values (<6 ug/l) when the bloom dissipated (right), which corresponds to low observed satellite chlorophyll data on that same day (above right).

13 Integration with Habitat and Living Resource Programs Benthos Baywide Phytoplankton Monitoring

14 Harmful Algal Blooms Common bloom species encountered in Maryland tidewaters: Microcystis aeruginosa And Other Cyanobacteria Aureococcus anophagefferens Brown Tide Importance: Human and Animal Health Importance: Impacts to Shellfish and SAV Distribution: Mainly the upper tidal Potomac River and Upper Chesapeake Bay. Distribution: Coastal Bays Season: late-spring and early Summer Season: Summer Notes: Ability to detect large outbreaks to direct physical sampling program for Microcystin toxin. Notes: Monitor the geographic and temporal distribution

15 Bay Grasses Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Assessed through VIMS SAV Aerial Survey Photo: Baltimore Sun

16 Tidal monitoring program changes Mainbay tidal water quality reduced to 16 times/year Mainbay tidal water quality reduced to 14 times/year Phytoplankton program cut Chesapeake Bay Tidal Potomac Tidal Shallow Water Potomac shallow water monitoring Zooplankton program cut Shallow water monitoring begins Mainbay tidal water quality reduced to 13 times/year Potomac tidal water quality reduced to 14 times/year 2015 Mainbay tidal water quality reduced to 17 times/year 2010 Monitoring beginstidal water quality, phytoplankton, zooplankton 20 times/year Potomac tidal water quality reduced to 12 times/year

17 Maryland Water Monitoring Stations (Tidal)

18

19 Continuous Monitors Long-Term Mainstem Stations

20 Tidal Monitoring Program Results Meeting Primary Objectives Assess the State s water quality criteria for DO, water clarity, and chlorophyll associated with the Bay TMDL

21 Dissolved Oxygen

22 Water Clarity

23

24 Tidal Monitoring Program Results Meeting Primary Objectives Assess the State s water quality criteria for DO, water clarity, and chlorophyll associated with the Bay TMDL Track progress towards meeting management activities (nutrient and sediment TMDL)

25 Management Actions - WWTP nutrient discharge decreases Annual average total nitrogen loads for the fifteen major wastewater treatment plants in the Washington, DC metropolitan area 70,000 60,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10, TN load (lbs/day) 50,000 Year

26 Potomac River 22% Potomac River Focus Total Nitrogen Algal Abundance (Chlorophyll a) (p<0.0001) Average annual TN concentrations at upper tidal fresh Potomac River and average annual loads for Blue Plains wastewater treatment plant TN load TN concentration Year TN (mg/l TN load (kg/da 30000

27 Question? How much local government involvement and investment is there in the tidal monitoring network in the COG region?

28 Maryland Water Quality Monitoring Partners

29 Local Government Partners Potential Opportunities There is little direct local government investment in the tidal monitoring network in the COG region Maryland s Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund - Between Fiscal Year the State has provided $63.1 million dollars generated through motor fuel excise tax and rental car tax in Maryland to accelerate Bay restoration by focusing limited financial resources on the most effective non-point source pollution control projects.

30 Question? What is the Bay Program process for determining the future scope and budget for the tidal and non-tidal monitoring networks and what, if any are the tradeoffs between them?

31 Overview of CBP s Building and Sustaining Integrated Networks (BASIN) 3 Phases Phase I FY 13 monitoring networks funding decision and subsequent actions Phase II - Monitoring Networks BASIN review process and schedule Goal is to maintain current operations of Chesapeake Bay/ Watershed Monitoring networks for another year Implementation of a 14-month BASIN review process led by STAR with cooperation of STAC to develop recommendations on sustaining the monitoring networks to meet CBP priorities through 2025 Phase III Expand to meet outcomes of new Bay Agreement

32 Phase I Findings/Implications Identified financial/operation thresholds below which the networks can t be sustained The Partnership must evaluate alternative monitoring network business and operations models in order to sustain our shared networks through 2025 to support the TMDL The previously envisioned 6-month Phase II process is not workable given these findings

33 Funding Gap Filling Activities Following the Management Board Decision CBP FY 13 funding gap ~$945,000 Tidal cuts include reduction of 1 winter monitoring cruise and elimination of nutrients on 2 summer cruises The final list of potential non-tidal network site losses included 18 stations Additional funding from EPA ($300,000), USGS ($100,000), and state partners reduced network losses to a minimum of 4 non-tidal sites (for 2013) Tidal monitoring cruise and sampling reductions remained the same as MB decided Tidal and non tidal networks are at the minimum level of what will be required to meet monitoring objectives

34 Phase II BASIN Process Assessment of sustainable business models to support Chesapeake Bay and watershed monitoring programs through 2025 to support the TMDL Re-assess the primary products that the monitoring networks are expected to deliver to its customers Optimization of the networks re-designing the networks to meet funding realities and partnership management needs through 2025

35 Phase II BASIN Schedule September-December 2013: Evaluation of Alternative, Sustainable Business Models for Bay and Watershed Monitoring Networks - Three, 3-hour sessions, for 9 case-studies (e.g. Puget Sound, Upper Mississippi, San Francisco Bay, Gulf of Maine, Great Lakes, Morton Bay Australia, Great Barrier Reef, Everglades, Boston Harbor) January-April 2014: Re-assessing Customer Expectations and Network Products - Working with the Communications Workgroup, re-evaluate monitoring and interpretive products required to assess progress and how this information is delivered to the Partnership February-July 2014: Optimizing Monitoring Strategies to Support CBP Priorities - Review Lessons Learned and other new science reporting that may influence the strategies we use to monitor and improve the accuracy of our estimates of Bay and watershed responses to management actions and improving linkage assessments for factors affecting trends. August-October 2014: Options Developed on Monitoring Network Design, Monitoring Network Operations, and Funding Support - Options to evolve the current water quality monitoring networks in the Bay and watershed toward their next generation designs to be implemented through November 2014-February 2015: Partnership Decision-making and Integrating Findings into Monitoring Program Operations. - Implementation of decisions affecting any changes to the networks, their funding and operations, will go into FY15/16 grants/iags starting with April 1, 2015 grant applications through January 1, 2016.

36 Panel Questions an Overview of External Monitoring Programs What are the objectives of the monitoring network(s) and supporting network design What is the operational model of how the sample collection, lab analysis, and data management are conducted? What is the business model of how the network is funded? What is the governance structure of the restoration effort and how do they oversee the monitoring program? List the three biggest successes and challenges in sustaining the network(s)

37 Phase III - Expanded Monitoring in Support of the New Chesapeake Bay Agreement. Timeline TBD. Commitments under the new Bay Agreement have monitoring needs that go beyond water quality. The CBP-STAC has expressed interest in working on outlining monitoring programming needs to address the additional priorities of the partnership. CBP STAR will coordinate with CBP-STAC on their needs and timelines

38 QUESTIONS?

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