Phytoplankton Monitoring Network

Community groups and classrooms in Maryland and Virginia are actively monitoring Bay waters for phytoplankton as part of the NOAA Phytoplankton Monitoring Network. These groups sample Bay waters, analyze the water under a microscope, and identify the type and number of phytoplankton floating by their location. This data is reported to the Network and posted on a web-based geographic information system (GIS) map for review. The program also operates along the Atlantic, Alaskan, and Pacific coasts; the Gulf of Mexico; and Hawaii.

The effort in the Bay is being coordinated by the NOAA Environmental Science Training Center, has hosted multiday workshops to train group leadersin the sampling protocols and genus level identifications of the plankton. Current sampling locations in the Chesapeake Bay are:

  • Jug Bay on the Patuxent River/Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary
  • North Bay, Upper Chesapeake Bay/North Bay Environmental Center
  • Mackall Cove, Patuxent River/Morgan State University Estuarine Center
  • Myllard Tydings, Havre de Grace, Susquehanna River/Harford County Public Schools