Chesapeake Bay

The goal of this project is to leverage the scientific and public policy resources at William and Mary to address the future of the Chesapeake Bay as a complex ecosystem and vital contributor of the economic health of the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.  William and Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has unique strengths in research and advisory services, and a tradition of interdisciplinary analysis of marine systems, required for a comprehensive assessment of the scientific issues. William and Mary's public policy, business, law, education, computational science, visualization, operations research and environmental programs, complement VIMS strengths in marine science and provide other perspectives needed for complex policy assessments. In addition, VIMS has already made significant progress, in cooperation with numerous industry partners, in developing the observation platform, sensor, information processing and modeling capabilities needed to monitor, interpret, and model waters within the Bay.

VIMS and supporting centers and programs on the main William and Mary campus plan to initiate activities to monitor conditions in the Chesapeake Bay, develop models to track and project changes, assess policy alternatives, and support the fishing industry and related activities around the Bay.  The VIMS-Industry Partnership Committee will look for ways to engage industry and government partners in this process.  This effort will coordinate contributions from several on-going programs into a more comprehensive assessment of the Bay and potential federal, state, and local initiatives.  In particular, the plan will seek to accelerate the development and deployment of observation platforms and cutting edge sensors and the integration of all available information into effective real-time models relevant to policy makers.

News, Updates, Reports and Presentations

VIMS Program Helps Ensure That No Child Is Left Inside

Seventh-grade students and their teachers in Gloucester, Mathews, and York counties are part of an ongoing and newly expanded educational program offered by the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve at VIMS. CBNERR Education Coordinator Sarah McGuire heads the effort, which is designed to provide every student in the three counties with Bay-focused field and classroom experiences during their 7th-grade year.

'Ghost Pot' removal program has successful year
Out-of-work commercial watermen succeeded in hauling up more than 10,000 derelict so-called “ghost pots,” lost fishing nets, and assorted metal junk from Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries during the third year of Virginia’s one-of-a-kind Marine Debris Removal Program.

VIMS study: propeller turbulence may affect marine food webs
A new study by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that turbulence from boat propellers can and does kill large numbers of copepods—tiny crustaceans that are an important part of marine food webs.

New web-based map tracks marine 'dead zones' worldwide
New research by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, identifies more than 530 low-oxygen “dead zones” and an additional 228 sites worldwide exhibiting signs of marine “eutrophication.”

Researchers Brave Icy Waters to Study Arctic Food Web
Professor Deborah Bronk of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is now leading a VIMS study of the Arctic coastal ecosystem, and how climate change might affect the supply of nutrients that supports the food web on which native peoples depend.

From Plankton to Planet
"Professor Steinberg's research helps reveal ocean's role in global warming."

The Ghost Hunters: Mapping Derelict Blue Crab Traps
"The Center for Coastal Resources Management at VIMS has been mapping the location of derelict crab pots since 2005."

Diaz Contributes to White House "Dead Zone" Report
"Research by Professor Bob Diaz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science lies at the heart of a new White House report on the growing problem of low-oxygen marine "dead zones."

Public-Private Partnership Could Transform Seafloor Imaging
"Researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, are involved in a unique public-private collaboration that could transform the way scientists look at-and into-the seafloor."

VIMS professor to help announce Census of Marine Life findings
"Professor Tracey Sutton of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has been invited to take part in a major news conference at the Royal Institution in London on October 4th to announce the final results of the landmark, decade-long Census of Marine Life."

Study Suggests a Third of Shark and Ray Species are Threatened
"Dr. Jack Musick, emeritus professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, has overseen a global study suggesting that 33 percent of shark, skate, and ray species are threatened with extinction."