About Us

The Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative team is working with new and existing water quality and benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring programs across the Bay watershed to integrate community science data into the Chesapeake Data Explorer. The CMC is supported by five partner organizations that act as the CMC service providers:

These service providers work with local monitoring groups to start or maintain monitoring programs by providing methods review, water quality or benthic training, data integration into the Chesapeake Data Explorer, and data interpretation workshops. Apply now to get connected with your CMC service provider!

Our Mission

The Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative commits to supporting all partners, communities, and individuals who want to collect, share, interpret, and use water quality data to increase understanding of Chesapeake Bay watershed health.

Our Vision

The Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative envisions equitable access to water quality data for all communities. Communities use data of known quality to advocate for local change, inform regional watershed management decisions, and improve restoration efforts.


The CMC was formed in 2015 through a six-year cooperative agreement between the Chesapeake Bay Program and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, to integrate community and volunteer monitoring data into the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership. The CMC team was awarded a second cooperative agreement in 2021 to continue the partnership for another six years.

There have traditionally been many sources of data, including data collected by volunteers, local governments and NGO’s, that were not being used at a broader scale to track bay and watershed health. The CMC team has established a tiered framework, monitoring protocols, and quality assurance procedures that enable all data of known quality to be used together across the region. These data are now available on a publicly accessible platform, the Chesapeake Data Explorer, and readily available for use at the state and federal levels.

This is the first regional, multi-state initiative of its kind and provides valuable information to add to a comprehensive understanding of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the health of the bay, and the success of restoration efforts.