2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 54-14
Presentation Time: 4:55 PM


DENNISON, William C., University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science, P.O. Box 775, Cambridge, MD 21613, PHILLIPS, Scott W., US Geological Survey, 5522 Research Park Drive, Baltimore, MD 21228 and KELSEY, Heath, Integration and Application Network, Univ. of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, PO Box 775, 202 Horn Point Rd., Cambridge, MD 21613, dennison@umces.edu

Chesapeake Bay is a large, well-studied and intensively monitored estuary, but this monitoring is in need of revision. Annual scientifically rigorous environmental report cards have served to track restoration progress in fifteen reporting regions (ecoreportcard.org). In addition, these report cards have been used to develop a narrative of Chesapeake Bay health stories (chesapeakebaystory.umces.edu). Citizen science efforts to track health of local waterways has also grown, and we are tackling the challenge of integrating citizen science efforts with the agency and academic monitoring. As part of an effort to advance the monitoring effort to incorporate new technologies, citizen science and diversified partners, we conducted a global webinar series and learned that there is a real need to develop a collegial network of monitoring scientists.

The chronic difficulties in obtaining consistent funding for monitoring efforts combined with the need for monitoring to assess long term trends while remaining adaptive to support adaptive management are common monitoring challenges. Sharing lessons from a variety of locations would provide a solid forum for exchange and monitoring improvements is various locations. There is a need to evolve from routine monitoring that does not engage the scientific community to a nimble, cost-effective and evolving program to build environmental intelligence that attracts the best scientific analyses possible. The considerable societal investments in large scale restoration programs necessitate a commensurate effort to provide timely, accurate and transparent feedback on these investments.