Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Sites

Sentinel sites around the Bay share a mission to improve planning and management decisions by providing the best data derived from local observation.

The map shows general locations of the seven sites. Each collects information about the marsh’s health, includes surface elevation tables, meteorological data, vegetation sampling, water levels, and water quality. The numbers indicate number of monitoring instruments at each site.

Map of Chesapeake Bay with Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site locations.
Map, Nicole Lehming (base map by vectorstock.com); icons, Jenna Clark

Monitoring Instruments

Surface Elevation Tables

Mechanical devices to measure small surface elevation changes that show how coastal marshes respond to sea level rise.

Real-time weather stations measure temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and barometric pressure. This data reveals estuarine circulation, plant productivity, and storm frequency and intensity.

Meteorological Data

Real-time weather stations measure temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and barometric pressure. This data reveals estuarine circulation, plant productivity, and storm frequency and intensity.

Plant traits, such as height, percent cover, stem density, and biomass within sampling plots, indicate how wetland vegetation responds to changing sea levels.

Vegetation Sampling

Plant traits, such as height, percent cover, stem density, and biomass within sampling plots, indicate how wetland vegetation responds to changing sea levels.

Water Levels

Sea level rise manifests differently along the coast. Water level monitoring stations continually measure the depth of water, providing a long-term data set.

Water Quality

The chemistry and levels of pollution cause ecosystem changes. Water monitoring stations check temperature, total suspended solids, dissolved oxygen, pH conductivity, chlorophyll, and nitrogen.


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