RiverTrends Talk

Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative

Working together to understand the health of our waters

The Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative aims to integrate volunteer collected data into the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership in order to better assess the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.

The Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative (CMC) envisions a Chesapeake community where all data of known quality are used to inform watershed management decisions and restoration efforts.

The CMC consists of five partner organizations that act as CMC Service Providers: the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Izaak Walton League of America, Dickinson College’s Alliance for the Aquatic Resource Monitoring, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia.

Together, these partner organizations provide technical, programmatic, and outreach support to volunteer-based water quality and macroinvertebrate monitoring groups throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, in order to integrate data into a centralized data hub, the Chesapeake Data Explorer. These data are publicly available for use throughout the watershed and integrated into the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership.

The Alliance acts as the project manager and provides assistance to water quality (chemical) monitoring groups in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Delaware. This includes:

  • Conducting study design workshops.
  • Conducting water quality certification trainings, technical support and quality assurance of data for RiverTrends volunteers in Virginia, DC, and Maryland.
  • Providing support to form new monitoring programs or enhance existing programs through train-the-trainer workshops and other monitoring resources.
  • Providing support for integrating data into the Chesapeake Data Explorer.

To get involved with the CMC and connected with a project partner, please fill out the Application for Assistance.

Our Impact

At the end of 2020, the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative has integrated over 300,000 chemical and benthic macroinvertebrate data points into the Chesapeake Data Explorer! These data come from approximately 2,000 stations across the watershed and cover all 7 bay jurisdictions.

Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program