Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:35 PM
A GEOLOGIC PERSPECTIVE ON SEDIMENT PROCESSES IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY: IMPLICATIONS FOR CURRENT MANAGEMENT ACTIONS
Geologists, having a time perspective that is based on the long view, need to bring that perspective to coastal system management activities. The ongoing efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Program, and its partner states, to reverse the decline of this major estuary provides an example for integrating a geologist’s perspective into workable management actions. Often this requires not only understanding the system, but managing the manager’s expectations for near-term results. While reducing nutrient input to the Chesapeake has been the historical focus of the Bay Program, recent efforts have turned to reducing sediment inputs as well with the primary intent of improving water clarity and habitat. Data from the tidal Chesapeake indicates that sediment deposition has substantially increased since European occupation of the watershed, and that while these rates are spatially variable discernable broad patterns exist. These patterns provide insight into the relative contribution of the major sediment sources as well as the processes that have influenced sediment transport and deposition over time. This talk will review the state of knowledge concerning geologic scale sediment processes in the Bay and the efforts to effectively incorporate that knowledge base into Bay Program modeling and management activities.