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Coastal Ecosystem Assessment of Chesapeake Bay Watersheds: A Story of Three Rivers – the Corsica, Magothy, and Rhode
Author(s): Leight, A.K.; J. Jacobs; L. Gonsalves; G. Messick; S. McLaughlin; J. Lewis; J. Brush; E. Daniels; M. Rhodes; L. Collier; B. Wood
NCCOS Center: CCEHBR
Center Team: Oxford Laboratory
Publication Type: NOAA Technical Memoranda
Journal Title: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 189
Date of Publication: 2014
Extent of Work: 93 pages
Abstract: This assessment explored linkages between land use and aquatic ecosystem health. Three watersheds (Corsica, Magothy, and Rhode rivers) with variable dominant land-use patterns (agriculture, suburban/residential, and mixed-use, respectively) were examined. The health of each habitat was assessed using a suite of observations focused on water quality and the health of aquatic organisms. Standard water quality metrics such as dissolved oxygen concentration, dissolved nitrogen/phosphorous concentration and water clarity were measured. Organismal health parameters included metrics of fish and shellfish growth, disease prevalence and severity, fish abundance, and species diversity. By analyzing these indicators of ecosystem health and their relationship to human activities within the surrounding watershed, this assessment provides insight into the trade-offs between development on land and aquatic ecosystem health. This information is necessary in order to strike a balance between supporting the needs of an ever increasing population and protecting the valuable ecosystem services that have benefited generations of Chesapeake Bay communities.
Related Attachment: Download file (.pdf)
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