Weather & Water Quality

Healthy waters provide a home where fish and crab flourish, and a lively place where families enjoy themselves by fishing, canoeing/kayaking, and boating. The decline of water quality (due to excess nutrients, sediments and other pollutants) is one of the main issues affecting the waters and natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay including the Patuxent River.  The Maryland Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR-MD) had monitored weather and water quality at Jug Bay since 1995.

By following national protocols, CBNERR-MD collects and provides national standardized data on weather and water quality. This data can then be used to determine trends, analyze environmental change, or to assess coastal management issues of regional or local concern such as poor water quality.

Sampling – Where?
CBNERR-MD permanently deployed a meteorological station at Jug Bay and three automated instruments or dataloggers (also called continuous monitoring stations – CONMONs) along the Patuxent River. All data from meteorological and CONMON stations is reported at 15 minute intervals. 

Weather and CONMON Stations in Jug Bay

Station: Jug Bay weather station
Position: 38° 46' 50.52 N, 76° 42' 29.16 W
Description: Located in the Patuxent River. Real time telemetry.
Years deployed: 2003 – present

 

Station: Iron Pot Landing
Position: 38° 47' 45.60 N, 76° 43' 14.88 W
Description: Located in the tidal freshwater system of the Patuxent River.
Years deployed: 2003 – present

 

Station: Railroad or Patuxent River-Jug Bay
Position: 38° 46' 52.68 N, 76° 42' 49.32 W
Description: Located in the tidal freshwater system of the Patuxent River. Real time telemetry.
Years deployed: 2003 – present

 

Station: Mataponi
Position: 38° 44' 35.88 N, 76° 42' 26.64 W
Description: Located in the tidal freshwater system of the Patuxent River.
Years deployed: 2003 – present

 

Sampling – What?

       WEATHER parameters:                        CONMON parameters:
       Air temperature                                          Water temperature
       Relative humidity                                        Specific conductivity
       Barometric pressure                                    Salinity
       Wind speed and direction                            Dissolved oxygen
       Total photosynthetically active radiation      Water depth
       Precipitation                                                 pH
       Total solar radiation                                     Turbidity
                                                                           Chlorophyll fluorescence

Additional Nutrient and Pigment (Chl a) Data:
Monthly, nutrient and pigment (Chl a) data are collected at all CONMON water quality stations. Parameters measured include: Orthophosphate, ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, nitrite + nitrate, and Chlorophyll a. Nutrient and Chl a samples are processed at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory following standard protocols.

Monitoring nutrients is important in the Chesapeake Bay region because of the positive relationship that exists between the amount of nutrients in the water and primary production and the development of algal blooms. This relationship is one of the primary drivers of water quality in the region.

Where to Find the Data!
1. NERRS Centralized Data Management Office website: http://cdmo.baruch.sc.edu/
2. Maryland Department of Natural Resources “Eyes on the Bay” website: http://mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/eyesonthebay/index.cfm.