The Chesapeake Bay is the largest shallow-water estuary in the western hemisphere, encompassing 64,000 square miles and including parts of six states—New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia—and the District of Columbia.The Bay is home to over 3,600 species of plants and animals, ten million people, and a strong regional economy. Over 97 million tons of imports and exports pass through the Port of Baltimore and Port of Virginia annually. In addition to the shipping and maritime transportation industries, commercial fishing forms a large part of the Chesapeake regional economy. According to the 2015 NOAA Fisheries Economics of the US Report, the commercial seafood industry in Maryland and Virginia contributed nearly $2.5 billion in sales, $760 million in income, and almost 29,000 jobs to the local economy.
Featured Chesapeake Bay Data Tools
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The Tidewatch network provides an effective way to measure, visualize, and predict the magnitude and impacts of coastal flooding at locations within Chesapeake Bay and along Virginia’s seaside Eastern Shore. Use Tidewatch charts to better prepare for storm tides and minimize their potential impacts.
MARACOOS OceansMap Chesapeake Bay Portal
MARACOOS OceansMap is a dynamic data visualization tool integrating near real-time observational assets and model forecasts that contribute to ocean monitoring in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Virginia Estuarine and Coastal Observing System (VECOS) – VIMS
The Virginia Estuarine and Coastal Observing System (VECOS) is a website designed to distribute water quality data sampled from the Chesapeake Bay and associated tributaries within Virginia.
Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia Forecast – VIMS
The Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia Forecast model simulates dissolved-oxygen levels in the bottom waters of the Bay’s main stem. It simulates 3 conditions: Nowcast: present-day levels of dissolved oxygen in Chesapeake Bay, 2-Day Forecast: levels of dissolved oxygen in the Bay 2 days from now, and Forecast Trend: difference between nowcast and forecast (% change over 2 days.
Old Dominion University Surface Current Mapping
Surface Current mapping sponsored by MARACOOS but based out of Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University.
Chesapeake Bay Operational Forecast System (CBOFS)
As a product of NOAA CO-OPS CBOFS provides water level nowcast and forecast guidance, as well as currents, water temperature and salinity and interpolated winds from National Weather Service products. CBOFS runs four times per day and generates 6-hour nowcasts and 48-hour forecast guidance.
Maryland DNR – Eyes on the Bay
Run By Maryland DNR, Eyes on the Bay offers Maryland tidal water quality data and information.
Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal
Browse over 4,000 maps showing fishing grounds, marine life habitats and much more. Managed by MARCO.
Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative Surface Elevation Table
This map is a collection of Surface Elevation Table (SET) sampling stations throughout the tidal marshes in the Chesapeake Bay.