Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Research Our Data

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System developed a nationwide monitoring program to explore how natural events and human activities affect the health of coastal ecosystems. As part of this program four automated instruments, called dataloggers, will be permanently deployed at the CBNERR-MD components. The dataloggers will measure and record water level, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and water clarity (turbidity) every fifteen minutes. These data will be used by scientists to monitor short and long-term changes of the water chemistry. The dataloggers are a central part of a larger monitoring effort that also includes weather stations and biomonitoring programs.

National Estuarine Research Reserves also collect data on the level of nutrients (ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, ortho-phosphate) in the water. Nutrient sampling is completed on a monthly basis at each of the water quality stations. Monitoring nutrients is important in the Chesapeake Bay region because scientists have found a positive relationship between the amount of nutrients in the water and primary production. This relationship is one of the primary drivers of water quality in the region.

Real-time weather and water quality data from Otter Point Creek and Jug Bay are available from the NERRS Centralized Data Management Office ( 

Sampling marsh vegetation at Jug Bay (Credit: L. Carroll)

Our Science

Explore and learn about the interesting research and long-term monitoring projects we are conducting at Otter Point Creek (Bush River), Jug Bay (Patuxent River), and Monie Bay (eastern shore). Our projects range from water quality monitoring to marsh plants to monitoring secretive marsh birds and fish.​​​​​


Links to Our Data

Our Data

We invite you to use our data to support research, modeling, management, and/or education goals. Our data could serve as baseline information to start a new research project, to look for interesting trends, to support modeling efforts, or to complement a project already in progress. We hope our data can help you to make a difference!