The Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative (CMC), in collaboration with water monitoring organizations, has effectively filled key data gaps in the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) monitoring network and State Integrated Reports. This collaborative effort has led to the integration of 5 water organizations collecting Tier 3 data. Additionally, the development of the Virginia Data Explorer, a comprehensive database, significantly aids the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) in managing water quality data. Our contributions have also enhanced the Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) 2020/2022 Integrated Report with more extensive data.
A central goal for the CMC is to emphasize Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) in our efforts. We aim to increase access to water quality monitoring data and encourage broader participation by incorporating crowd-sourced data. This approach is designed to create a more inclusive environment surrounding water quality monitoring and its data. Alongside this, we are exploring methods to broaden data integration approaches within the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) network. This expansion, highlighted by the Chesapeake Ecosystem Science and Restoration (CESR) reports, involves extending our focus to include shallow water monitoring and living resources by integrating Tier 1 and Tier 2 data.
We are collaborating with West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection (WV-DEP) to integrate their data into the CMC, enhancing regional data coverage. Furthermore, we are strengthening engagement with partners in New York to address data gaps in the Chesapeake Bay portion of the state. This is a vital step to ensure more comprehensive data collection across the region.
Finally, the CMC commits to the expansion of Tier 3 monitoring. Identifying and onboarding additional groups to collect high quality tidal data is instrumental. This will deepen our understanding of what is happening in the tributaries across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Summarized in the 2023 Prioritization Report, the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative continues its commitment to advancing water quality monitoring and data integration. By focusing on collaborative efforts we can better ensure the health and sustainability of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.