Collaborating To Protect The Bay

Project Title UMD Researcher Project Description
Weaving the Green Ribbon: Understanding Neighbor Attitudes and Actions to Improve Health and Function of Urban Streamside Forests Megan E. Carr, Lea R. Johnson, Byoung-Suk Kweon Riparian forest buffers in urban and urbanizing regions are impacted by landscaping and maintenance decisions made on adjacent residential properties. This study examines relationships between residential management decisions and stream forest health in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and the perceptions and priorities of residents and land managers. This study will identify potential motivations to implement practices that will contribute to the health of riparian forests, and to identify best management practices balancing the priorities of residents with the need for ecosystem services that these forests provide.
Enhancing the sustainability of US cropping systems through cover crops and innovative information and technology systems. Lead PI: Reberg-Horton at North Carolina State University at S Mirsky at USDA-ARS; Co-PIs: Northeast Cover Crop Council (M Ryan at Cornell, K Tully at UMD, H Schomberg, K Balcomb, D Fleisher, M Cavigelli, and D Timlin at USDA-ARS, et al.); Midwestern Cover Crop Council (A Basche, J McMechan, S Wortman at UNL, et al.); Southern Cover Crop Council (J Gaskin and J Thompson at U of Georgia, H Poffenbarfer at U Kentucky, et al.); Industry partners;(T Butler at Noble Foundation, B Salas at Applied GeoSolutions) There is a need to integrate knowledge-intensive sustainable agricultural practices into a precision framework to maximize farm productivity, profitability, and sustainability at a national scale. This is accomplished through the use of an information ecology that connects farms, data, tools, and people for optimal, real-time decisions.
Cover crops: the cornerstone of water management in the face of increasing demand and climate change Lead PI: Reberg-Horton at North Carolina State University; Co-PI: K Tully at UMD, S Mirsky, H Schomberg, K Balcomb, D Fleisher, L Duzy, and D Timlin at USDA-ARS, J Gaskin and M Cabrera at U of Georgia, T Butler at Noble Foundation, J Thompson, R Stockwell at National Wildlife Federation Despite the potentially transformative benefits of cover crop-based no-till production for increasing water and food security, adoption remains low in the US. The goal of this project is to increase understanding of cover crop management, impacts on water use efficiency and groundwater returns, and potential adoption across the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern US to enhance water and food security.
Evaluating Subaqueous Soil-Landscape Models (SSLM) for Soil Mapping and Interpretations in Chesapeake Bay (MAES) Martin C. Rabehorst and PhD student Barret Wessel Over the last 2 decades, the (subaqueous) soil-landscape paradigm (SSLP) has informed subaqueous mapping efforts in areas adjacent to US Barrier Island coastal systems, which has proven successful in providing soils information critical for optimal use and management of those coastal resources. We recognize, however, that there are significant differences between the geomorphology and processes in barrier systems and those in the flooded estuaries of Chesapeake Bay. The fundamental question being addressed is whether this SSLP approach can be successfully applied to create useful subaqueous soil inventories within subestuaries of the Chesapeake Bay. We propose to do this by applying the soil-landscape model developed in the Rhode River estuary in 2015-16 to create a soil map of the nearby West River estuary using only the bathymetric data to derive a map of subaqueous soil landforms (to which the model is applied). After the draft map has been created in this way, the effectiveness of the model will then be quantitatively evaluated and tested by making soil observations at preselected points along specified transects and observing and documenting how closely the soils found at the transect points correspond to those predicted to be there in the draft soil map.
Subaqueous pedology and resource inventory in Chesapeake Bay subestuaries (USDA-NRCS) Martin C. Rabenhorst and MS student Evan Park The primary objective of this work are to evaluated the recently developed subaqueous soil-landscape models for the Rhode River and West River to a nearby subestuary of Chesapeake Bay (the South or Severn river). We will be evaluating the effectiveness of these models in the formulation of new subaqueous soil inventories and in the process, develop a subaqueous soils map of one of these subestuaries.
Pedological Approach to Evaluating Chesapeake Bay Sediments (Subaqueous Soils) for Suitability for Oyster Aquaculture (MIPS, subcontract from UMCES) Martin C. Rabenhorst and PhD student Barret Wessel This project is a collaboration with oyster specialists at UMCES and UMCP to try to bring a pedological approach to studying baybottom conditions in the Big Annemessex River with regard to supporting oyster aquaculture. Current interest in leasing sections of Chesapeake Bay subestuaries is limited by the nature of currently available information. We ;are exploring pedological mapping approaches of sediments/subaqueous soils to try to improve the quality of available information by applying the Soil-Landscape paradigm.
Increasing Resilience to Sea Level Rise in Coastal Maryland Brian Needelman (ENST), Michael Paolisso (Anthropology), Sasha Land (MD DNR) Investigators from the University of Maryland have partnered with the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve to form the Deal Island Peninsula Project to increase the resilience of coastal marsh and communities on Maryland's Deal Island Peninsula in the face of sea level rise. The project works with a wide diversity of stakeholders developing restoration and adaptation approaches to increase the resilience of habitats and communities on the peninsula.
Price-based policies for managing residential development and impacts to water quality in the Chesapeake Bay David Newburn, Doug Wrenn, and Allen Klaiber We estimate a spatial model of residential subdivision development in the Baltimore metro region to analyze policy scenarios for future urban growth. We combine the model of residential land conversion with the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) watershed model to examine how price-induced changes in residential development patterns impact nitrogen and phosphorus loading in the Baltimore metro region.
Developing value-added use of blue catfish in Chesapeake Bay Liangli (Lucy) Yu Blue catfish is an invasive species in Chesapeake Bay area, and its expansion and population increase may have significant ecological impacts. Yu's group propose to develop value-added use of the blue catfish such as potential edible protein ingredients for food and feed applications or snack foods for humans. The research also may lead to patentable commercial food, feed or other agricultural products, and benefit local economy.
Modeling recreational anglers' responses to risky catch Jorge Holzer and Kenneth McConnell Although researchers are broadly aware of the many environmental attributes of recreational fishing, the literature on recreational fishing typically characterizes fishing trips with the mean catch rate. This research seeks to expand this approach to account for the uncertainty of catching fish by estimating a model of risk aversion. Essentially this implies that anglers have preferences over the distribution of catch. (This is conducted in Atlantic, but the PI indicates that it is also applicable to Chesapeake Bay)
Forest Soil Quality Monitoring (Dept. of Interior, National Park Service) Ray Weil and MS student Dan Colopietro. We collaborated with the National Park Service to monitor soil health at 418 forested sites in Chesapeake Bay watershed regional parks. We measured the soil organic carbon in the upper 1 m of soil to estimate baseline C stocks and identified certain pars with heavy meal (e.g. lead) contaminated soils.
Raising the Bar: Improved Cover Crop Management to Reduce Nitrogen Leaching, Runoff and Green House Gas Emission (Shore Rivers Association) Ray Weil and PhD student Nathan Sedghi. We are collaborating with Shore Rivers Association and several large scale Eastern Shore commercial farms to demonstrate improved cover crop management techniques and their impacts nitrogen leaching, fertilizer requirements, and NOx emissions.
Carbon Gaps, Nitrogen Bulges (NE SARE subaward from with PSU) Ray Weil and MS student Dana Rushovich. We are collaborating with researchers at Penn State University to characterize carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in soil profiles and develop strategies to better manage all three.
Thriving Agricultural Systems in Urbanized Landscapes (Nat’l Instit. of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) /USDA) Ray Weil and Gurpal Toor (UMd) with others from Penn State University. Although this collaboration with Penn State University hasn’t officially started yet, we will have fall 2019 project kickoff meeting with the Stakeholder Advisory Board and project personnel to begin agricultural futures development and scenario-building exercises with respect to the future sustainability of ag in this region. My lab’s role in the project will be to work with two representative commercial famers that interact with their urbanizing environment to foster and measure impacts and synergies.