To fill the identified gaps of stream health data in the Chesapeake Bay Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (Chessie BIBI). By targeting macroinvertebrate sample collection in areas of the watershed with little or no data, CMC service providers and volunteers will help extend the Chesapeake Bay watershed area coverage of the Stream Health assessment.
“The Chesapeake basin-wide index of biotic integrity for stream macroinvertebrates, or “Chessie BIBI,” is a multi-metric index of biological health for freshwater streams and small, wadeable rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.” It serves as an “effective tool to track progress towards the CBP Stream Health management goal” (Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin). The index also identified many areas of the watershed that have little or no data. This new protocol developed by the CMC is meant to support a special study project that will contribute to filling data gaps within the watershed and promote the ongoing assessment of Chesapeake Bay stream health.
If your organization works in an un-sampled or under-sampled area (white and light blue watersheds on the map to the left), or you are willing to travel to these areas, we want you to join this special project! Contact your CMC service provider to get started, your group will then need to follow these steps:
Benthic samples will be collected, preserved, and sent to the EPA Wheeling Lab to be identified and classified down to the family level. Your sample’s family-level identification will be shared with you and the final data will become part of the history documented in the CMC Chesapeake Data Explorer database.
Once samples are collected, they may be sub-sampled prior to sending to the Wheeling Lab. The CMC service providers (ACB, IWLA, and ALLARM) will host sub-sampling days, where volunteers will assist the CMC staff in picking (or sub-sampling) the macroinvertebrates from the samples to get a clean (bug only, no leaves, sticks or other debris) sample to send to the lab.
The CMC team will advertise volunteers days as needed throughout the year. In order to get involved, you will need to watch a short introduction video and review the resources below.