Water Quality Monitoring

In order for the State of Maryland to assess management actions aimed at protecting and restoring the Coastal Bays and tributaries and to track the effectiveness of the Coastal Bays Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan, the Department of Natural Resourcesí Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment Division is responsible for a comprehensive long-term water quality and habitat monitoring program in Marylandís Coastal Bays. This program builds upon historical monitoring efforts and is coordinated with other state and federal agencies.  The program measures a set of water quality and habitat indicators.

View map of water quality monitoring stations. 

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Marylandís Coastal Bays Water Quality Monitoring Program includes an integrated set of components that together provide a comprehensive assessment of water quality conditions. This set of water quality and habitat indicators includes:

  • physical/chemical properties,

  • river inputs of nutrients and sediments,

  • phytoplankton,

  • macroalgae, and

  • benthic organisms.

The design, analysis and interpretation of each component of the program addresses two main objectives:

  • Characterization of existing conditions

  • Detection of changes and trends in key water quality variables in response to management actions

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