Nutrient Trends and Drivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Fact Sheet 2020-3069
Prepared in cooperation with the Chesapeake Bay Program and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Integration and Application Network
By: , and 



The Chesapeake Bay Program maintains an extensive nontidal monitoring network, measuring nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrients) at more than 100 locations on rivers and streams in the watershed. Data from these locations are used by United States Geological Survey to assess the ecosystem’s response to nutrient-reduction efforts. This fact sheet summarizes recent trends in nitrogen and phosphorus in nontidal tributaries and identifies some of the complex factors that affect local water quality, and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.

Suggested Citation

Hyer, K.E., Phillips, S.W., Ator, S.W., Moyer, D.L., Webber, J.S., Felver, R., Keisman, J.L., McDonnell, L.A., Murphy, R., Trentacoste, E.M., Zhang, Q., Dennison, W.C., Swanson, S., Walsh, B., Hawkey, J., and Taillie, D., 2021, Nutrient trends and drivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3069, 4 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

ISSN: 2327-6916 (print)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Watershed Trends Show Mixed Results That Differ for Nitrogen and Phosphorus
  • Factors Driving Nutrient Trends in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • Challenges Toward Effective Management of Nonpoint Sources
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Nutrient trends and drivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2020-3069
DOI 10.3133/fs20203069
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Virginia and West Virginia Water Science Center
Description 4 p.
Country United States
State Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
Other Geospatial Chesapeake Bay
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details