New data shows an improvement in stream health across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
A popular song in the hit Broadway show, Rent, asks how to measure a year. In minutes? In moments? A recent report from the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB) explores how scientists can measure stream health. By macroinvertebrates? By miles? The experts at the Chesapeake Bay Program think so. Chessie BIBI, a data-tracking tool used to calculate the health of small- to medium-sized streams, suggests a roughly 6 percent improvement in stream health in the Bay watershed.
The Chesapeake Basin-wide Index of Biotic Integrity, known in the water-world as Chessie BIBI, is a multi-metric index calculated from the numbers and types of small animals, called macroinvertebrates, that live in free-flowing (non-tidal) streams of the Bay watershed. The index relies on data collected by state, federal, county, and volunteer monitoring programs to track the number of “healthy” stream miles in the region from year to year. Chessie BIBI is a long-term ICPRB evaluation that provides water quality assessment for the Potomac basin and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
According to the report, there are many ways to measure stream health. Chessie BIBI is just one of them, but it is a good overall indication of stream health across the Bay watershed. Dr. Buchanan says that Chessie BIBI can be used as a management tool to track progress across jurisdictional boundaries and towards the goals set out in the Bay Agreement.
The ICPRB will virtually hold its first quarter business meeting on March 7, 2023. Commissioners will be updated on ICPRB efforts to enhance drinking water supply resiliency, the successful Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee meeting, and a presentation on the 30th Anniversary of the Colonial Pipeline Spill on the Potomac. The public is invited to view the virtual meeting. Please Contact Us for more information on how to attend.
Find more news about Chessie BIBI, stream health, and PFAS in the Potomac News Reservoir.