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Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia:. History and Management Response. Rich Batiuk Associate Director for Science Chesapeake Bay Program Office U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Rob Magnien NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research.

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Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia:

History and Management Response

Rich Batiuk

Associate Director for Science

Chesapeake Bay Program Office

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Rob Magnien

NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Chesapeake Bay Summer Anoxic/Hypoxic Volumes and Winter-Spring Flow: 1949-2003

1957-1950

1952

1949-

1950

1960-1963

1972

1967-1968

1978-1980

June 1984-December 2003

Source: www.chesapeakebay.net


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Calculated Summer Anoxic/Hypoxic Volumes and Model Predictions: 1950-2001

Source: Hagy et al. 2004


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Summer dissolved oxygen profiles in Chesapeake Bay:

Four years with near average January–May Susquehanna

River flow

Extent of Anoxic Conditions

Source: Hagy et al. 2004


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

January

A Year in Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen: 2004

February

March

April

May

Early June

Late June

Early July

Late July

Early August

Late August

September

October

November

December


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

2006 Summer Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

2006 Chesapeake Bay Mainstem Anoxic Volume Forecast

Red zone indicates forecast area

Forecast Volume

Algal index = spring Susq. TN, TP + N. Bay PS TN, TP

Observed Volume

95% Confidence Interval

Source: www.chesapeakebay.net/bayforecastspring2006.htm


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Over 90% of the Bay and its tidal rivers are impaired due to low dissolved oxygen levels and poor water clarity, all related to nutrient and sediment pollution.

Impaired Water

Source: U.S. EPA


Partners commitment to restored bay water quality

Partners Commitment to Restored Bay Water Quality

“By 2010, correct the nutrient‑ and sediment‑related problems in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries...”

Step 1: What is the water quality of a restored Bay?

Step 2: How much pollution do we need to reduce?

Step 3: What actions do we need to take to reduce pollution?

Source: Chesapeake Executive Council 2000


What do we want to achieve

What Do We Want to Achieve?

Water quality that supports abundant fish,

crabs, oysters and underwater grasses in

the Bay and its rivers.

Source: Chesapeake Executive Council 2000


Water quality in a restored bay

Water Quality in a Restored Bay

  • Fewer algae blooms and better fish food.

  • Clearer water and more underwater Bay grasses.

  • More oxygen and improved habitat for more fish, crabs and oysters.

Source: U.S. EPA 2003a


Refined designated uses for the bay and tidal tributary waters

Refined Designated Uses forthe 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

Open-Water

Habitat

Shallow-Water

Bay Grass Use

Deep-Water

Seasonal Fish and

Shellfish Use

Deep-Channel Seasonal Refuge Use

Source: U.S. EPA 2003b


Bay dissolved oxygen criteria

Bay Dissolved Oxygen Criteria

Minimum Amount of Oxygen (mg/L) Needed to Survive by Species

Migratory Fish Spawning & Nursery Areas

6

Striped Bass: 5-6

American Shad: 5

Shallow and Open Water Areas

5

White Perch: 5

4

Yellow Perch: 5

Hard Clams: 5

Deep Water

Alewife: 3.6

3

Bay Anchovy: 3

Crabs: 3

2

Deep Channel

1

Spot: 2

Worms: 1

0

Source: U.S. EPA 2003a


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen Criteria

Designated Use

Criteria Concentration/Duration

Protection Provided

Temporal Application

Migratory fish spawning

and

nursery use

7-day mean > 6 mg liter-1

(tidal habitats with 0-0.5 ppt salinity)

Survival/growth of larval/juvenile tidal-fresh resident fish.; protectiveof threatened/endangered species.

February 1 - May 31

Instantaneous minimum > 5 mg liter-1

Survival and growth of larval/juvenile migratory fish; protective of threatened/endangered species.

Open-water fish and shellfish designated use criteria apply

June 1 - January 31

Shallow-water bay grass use

Open-water fish and shellfish designated use criteria apply

Year-round

Open-water fish and shellfish use

30-day mean > 5.5 mg liter-1

(tidal habitats with 0-0.5 ppt salinity)

Growth of tidal-fresh juvenile and adult fish; protective of threatened/endangered species.

Year-round

30-day mean > 5 mg liter-1

(tidal habitats with >0.5 ppt salinity)

Growth of larval, juvenile and adult fish and shellfish; protectiveof threatened/endangered species.

7-day mean > 4 mg liter-1

Survival of open-water fish larvae.

Instantaneous minimum > 3.2 mg liter-1

Survival of threatened/endangered sturgeon species.1

Deep-water seasonal fish and shellfish use

30-day mean > 3 mg liter-1

Survival and recruitment of bay anchovy eggs and larvae.

June 1 - September 30

1-day mean > 2.3 mg liter-1

Survival of open-water juvenile and adult fish.

Instantaneous minimum > 1.7 mg liter-1

Survival of bay anchovy eggs and larvae.

Open-water fish and shellfish designated-use criteria apply

October 1 - May 31

Deep-channel seasonal refuge use

Instantaneous minimum > 1 mg liter-1

Survival of bottom-dwelling worms and clams.

June 1 - September 30

Open-water fish and shellfish designated use criteria apply

October 1 - May 31

1 At temperatures considered stressful to shortnose sturgeon (>29EC), dissolved oxygen concentrations above an instantaneous minimum of 4.3 mg liter-1 will protect survival of this listed sturgeon species.


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Scientific Basis for Decisions was Documented by the Partners


Bay criteria uses adopted in state wqs regulations

Bay Criteria, Uses Adopted in State WQS Regulations

  • DE (2004), MD (2005), VA 2005/2006), DC (2006)

  • Standards adopted in terms of designated use by CBP segment

  • WQ criteria, uses, attainment assessment methods essentially fully consistent across jurisdictions


Chesapeake bay program models

Chesapeake Bay Program Models

Chesapeake Bay Airshed Model

Chesapeake Bay

Watershed Model

Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Model

Hydrodynamic

Model

Sediment Process

Model

Zooplankton

Model

Phytoplankton

Model

Sediment Transport

Model

Benthic Infauna

Model

SAV/Light

Model

Oyster Filter

Feeders Model


Chesapeake bay program current modeling structure

Chesapeake Bay ProgramCurrent Modeling Structure

Estuary Model

Airshed Model

Watershed Model


Nutrient loadings vs dissolved oxygen criteria attainment

phosphorus

nitrogen

Nutrient Loadings vs. Dissolved Oxygen Criteria Attainment

337

285

175

26.5

19.1

12.8

Millions of pounds per year

% Dissolved Oxygen

Criteria Attainment


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Nutrient pollution loads have differing impacts on the Bay water quality, depending on where they come from.


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Allocating Responsibility for Reducing Nutrients and Sediments

...then by 20 major tributary basins by jurisdiction

…then by 44 state-defined tributary strategy subbasins

By 9 major river basins

Watershed

States

Responsibility

Watershed

States

Responsibility

Watershed

Partners

Responsibility


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Nutrient and Sediment Cap Load Allocations

  • Science-based

  • Equitable

  • Based on pollution contribution to Bay/river water quality

  • Adopted by the six watershed states’ Governors, the DC Mayor and EPA Adminstrator in 2003


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Basinwide Permitting Approach

  • Unprecedented multi-state permitting agreement

  • Annual load limits vs. monthly conc. limits

  • Watershed-based permitting

  • Addresses complex compliance schedule issues

  • Addresses monitoring requirements and reporting schedules


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

The Forthcoming Next Generation of Bay Models

Nitrate and ammonia deposition from improved Daily Nitrate and Ammonium Concentration Models using 35 monitoring stations over 18 simulation years.

Adjustments to deposition from

Models-3/Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) Modeling System

Phase 5 Watershed Model

Year-to-year changes in land use and BMPs; 899 segments; 24 land uses; 296 calibration stations; 21 simulation years; sophisticated calibration procedures; calibration demonstrably better in quality and scale

Chesapeake Bay Estuary Model

Detailed sediment input; Wave model for resuspension, Full sediment transport; Filter feeder simulation; Simulation of Potomac algal blooms; 54,000 model cells; 18 simulation years


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Less Than Third of the Bay Has Enough Oxygen


Chesapeake bay hypoxia

Rich Batiuk

Associate Director for Science

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program Office

410-267-5731

[email protected]

www.chesapeakebay.net


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