A summary report of sediment processes in Chesapeake Bay and watershed

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2003-4123




The Chesapeake Bay, the Nation's largest estuary, has been degraded because of diminished water quality, loss of habitat, and over-harvesting of living resources. Consequently, the bay was listed as an impaired water body due to excess nutrients and sediment. The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), a multi-jurisdictional partnership, completed an agreement called ?Chesapeake 2000? that revises and establishes new restoration goals through 2010 in the bay and its watershed. The goal of this commitment is the removal of the bay from the list of impaired waterbodies by the year 2010. The CBP is committed to developing sediment and nutrient allocations for major basins within the bay watershed and to the process of examining new and innovative management plans in the estuary itself and along the coastal zones of the bay. However, additional information is required on the sources, transport, and deposition of sediment that affect water clarity. Because the information and data on sediment processes in the bay were not readily accessible to the CBP or to state, and local managers, a Sediment Workgroup (SWGP) was created in 2001. The primary objective of this report, therefore, is to provide a review of the literature on the sources, transport, and delivery of sediment in Chesapeake Bay and its watershed with discussion of potential implications for various management alternatives. The authors of the report have extracted, discussed, and summarized the important aspects of sediment and sedimentation that are most relevant to the CBP and other sediment related-issues with which resources managers are involved. This report summarizes the most relevant studies concerning sediment sources, transport and deposition in the watershed and estuary, sediments and relation to water clarity, and provides an extensive list of references for those wanting more information.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
A summary report of sediment processes in Chesapeake Bay and watershed
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Pennsylvania Water Science Center