Native Oyster Abundance

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Chesapeake Bay Program Indicator Framework

Reporting Level Indicators

Indicator and Data Survey

For each indicator for which you are responsible, please provide the following information.  This information will be made available to the developers of the reports, the reviewers of the reports and by members of the public who may request detailed information about the data used in the reports.  Please refer to the sample for examples of the level of detail that should be provided.

A.  Category/Name/Source/Contact

(1) Category of Indicator

___ Factors Impacting Bay and Watershed Health

___ Restoration and Protection Efforts

___ Watershed Health

_x_ _ Bay Health

(2) Name of Indicator: Native Oyster Abundance (Biomass)

(3) Description of Dataset used to calculate percent of goal achieved: Tracking progress toward the 10-fold increase of oysters in Chesapeake Bay called for in the C2K commitment

This collaborative project between Maryland and Virginia partners has produced to date annual estimates of Chesapeake Bay oyster populations for the period 1994-2008 (MD) and 1994-2008 (VA). Using the formats established by the CBOPE project, annual tracking of progress towards the 2010 goal will continue.

Each state has identified distinct basins or water bodies as well as sentinel sites within the Chesapeake Bay that will be used to estimate abundance and biomass of Chesapeake oyster populations. Annual oyster population estimates for basins provide evidence of geographic trends within watersheds. The term "sentinel site" is applied to individual sites where oyster populations have been, or henceforth will be, monitored annually. Data from these sites may provide an index of restoration or replenishment success in relation to both basin and technique. 

For what purpose(s) were the data collected? (e.g., tracking, research, or long-term monitoring.) Tracking & research

Which parameters were measured directly?  A) In Virginia, monitoring data for the sentinel stations is reported from dredge survey data as average numbers of oysters per bushel and average oyster biomass (g dry tissue) per bushel. B.) In Maryland, oyster populations at sentinel sites are evaluated using annual dredge survey data. All of the sentinel site locations are sampled annually by DNR Shellfish Program. Two half-bushel samples are collected. Data for these stations are reported using oyster counts and individual oyster shell measurements. 

Which were obtained by calculation? Annual population and biomass extrapolations for both Maryland and Virginia. The calculations differ for each state since the data sets are unique to each State.

Note - In 2008, Maryland submitted revised population and biomass calculations that were published in the 2008 Oyster Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Below is the description of the calculation change found in the EIS:

Additional information can be found in the EIS, Appendix A, Attachment 7: http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Oyster...S/homepage.asp

(4) Source(s) of Data: Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Maryland Department of Natural Resources. 

oIs the complete data set accessible, including metadata, data-dictionaries and embedded definitions?  If yes, please indicate where complete dataset can be obtained.  

Only annual summary data from 1994-2008 for Maryland, and from 1994-2008 for Virginia is available for this project. Data for Virginia can be found on the CBOPE website: http://www.vims.edu/mollusc/cbope. Data for Maryland may be found in the EIS, Appendix A, Attachment 7, Table 7

http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Oyster...S/homepage.asp

(5) Custodian of Source Data (and Indicator, if different):  Data- VIMS, Juliana Harding; DNR, Eric Weissberger. 

(6) CBP Contact:  Shannon Simpson

B.  Communication Questions

(complete either part 1, 2, or 3)

1.  Restoration and Protection Efforts indicators only

(7a) How much has been completed since 1985 (or baseline year)?  How much has been completed since 2000?

 (8a) How much was done last year?  

(9a) What is the current status in relation to a goal?  

(10a) What is the key story told by this indicator?

 (11a) Why is it important to report this information?

 (12a) What detail and/or diagnostic indicators are related to this reporting level indicator? (Detail and diagnostic indicators can be spatially specific, parameter-specific, temporally-specific information, etc.)

2.  Bay Health or Watershed Health indicators only

(7b) What is the long-term trend?  (since start of data collection) 

There is no statistically discernable trend away from the 1994 baseline. Oysters remain at a very low level.

(8b) What is the short-term trend? (10-year trend) – There is no statistically discernable trend away from the 1994 baseline. Oysters remain at a very low level.

(9b) What is the current status in relation to a goal?  10 percent of the goal is achieved. 

(10b) What does this indicator tell us?  

- That we are far from meeting a 10 fold increase in oysters over the 1994 baseline.

- That the 10 fold increase was too great of a target (unrealistic) when it was set.

- That restoration efforts have not been effective at a large Bay-scale even though funding and restoration activity was significantly increased since Chesapeake 2000.

(11b) Why is it important to report this information? 

- Oysters are vital to the Bay's health: they filter the water, they contribute to nutrient cycling and reduction, and their reefs provide necessary habitat for other Bay species. The reported information gauges success toward restoring this ecological contribution.

- Oysters are economically valuable and the oyster fishery once provided tremendous economic benefit to the region. The reported information indicates the abundance of the population on which the industry depends.

- Oyster restoration is a priority commitment and significant funds are being spent. The reported information gauges results from the budgetary commitment.

Oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay have been decimated primarily by disease, but also by poor water quality and historic intense harvest pressure. 

(12b) What detail and/or diagnostic indicators are related to this reporting level indicator? N/A

3.  Factors Impacting Bay and Watershed Health indicators only

(7c) What is the long-term trend?  (since start of data collection)

(8c) What is the short-term trend? (3 to 5 year trend)

(9c) What is the current status?

(10c) What is the key story told by this indicator?

(11c) Why is it important to report this information?

(12c) What detail and/or diagnostic indicators are related to this reporting level indicator?

C.  Temporal Considerations

(13) Data Collection Date(s):  1994-2008 (MD); 1994-2008 (VA)

(14) Planned Update Frequency (e.g. - annual, bi-annual):

(a) Source Data:  annual

(b) Indicator: annual

(15) For annual reporting, month spatial data is available for reporting:  

D.  Spatial Considerations

(16) Type of Geography of Source Data (point, line polygon, other):

Point data from GPS for corners of area planted

(17) Acceptable Level of Spatial Aggregation (e.g. - county, state, major basin, tributary basin, HUC): As needed

(18) Are there geographic areas with missing data?  If so, where? Some organizations that did projects have not yet reported results.  Not sure where they all are. 

(19) The spatial extent of this indicator best described as:  (a)

(a) Chesapeake Bay (estuary)

(b) Chesapeake Bay Watershed

(c) Other (please describe): _______________________

Please submit any appropriate examples of how this information has been mapped or otherwise portrayed geographically in the past. 

http://www.vims.edu/mollusc/cbope

(20) Can appropriate diagnostic indicators be represented geographically?  Yes by state and tributary

E.  Data Analysis and Interpretation

(Please provide appropriate references and location of documentation if hard to find.)

(21) Is the conceptual model used to transform these measurements into an indicator widely accepted as a scientifically sound representation of the phenomenon it indicates?  (i.e., how well do the data represent the phenomenon?)  Refer to http://www.vims.edu/mollusc/cbope   and   http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Oyster...S/homepage.asp

(22) What is the process by which the raw data is summarized for development and presentation of the indicator?   Refer tohttp://www.vims.edu/mollusc/cbope   and  http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Oyster...S/homepage.asp

(23) Are any tools required to generate the indicator data (e.g. - Interpolator, watershed model) refer to http://www.vims.edu/mollusc/cbope  and  http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Oyster...S/homepage.asp

(24) Are the computations widely accepted as a scientifically sound? Yes.  

(25) Have appropriate statistical methods been used to generalize or portray data beyond the time or spatial locations where measurements were made (e.g., statistical survey inference, no generalization is possible)?  Not applicable.

(26) Are there established reference points, thresholds or ranges of values for this indicator that unambiguously reflect the desired state of the environment? (health/stressors only) refer to http://www.vims.edu/mollusc/cbope

F.  Data Quality

(Please provide appropriate references and location of documentation if hard to find.)

(27) Were the data collected according to an EPA-approved Quality Assurance Plan?    When the project began as part of the original CBOPE (Mann, Jordan and others), some of the work was funded by EPA with Mike Fritz as program monitor. At that time there was an EPA review of the methods and they were approved. The methods as employed then and now are not driven by typical EA QA/QC protocols because the methods do not include techniques traditionally subject to QA/QC analysis.

If no, complete questions 28a – 28d:

(28a) Is the sampling design and/or monitoring plan and/or tracking system used to collect the data over time and space based on sound scientific principles?  Yes.

(28b) What documentation clearly and completely describes the underlying sampling and analytical procedures used?  

Details of Virginia’s sampling methods and analytical procedures may be found at http://www.vims.edu/mollusc/cbope

Details of Maryland’s sampling and analytical procedures may be found in the EIS, Appendix A, Attachment 7: Oyster Population Estimates for the Maryland Portion of Chesapeake Bay: Population Size, Biomass, and Exploitation Rate; Time Series Estimates for 1994 – 2007, by L. Barker, K. Greenhawk, and T. O’Connell.  Available for download at http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Oyster...S/homepage.asp.

These same techniques were applied to 2008 data.

(28c) Are the sampling and analytical procedures widely accepted as scientifically and technically valid? Yes. 

(28d) To what extent are the procedures for quality assurance and quality control of the data documented and accessible? See answer for (28b)

(29) Are the descriptions of the study or survey design clear, complete and sufficient to enable the study or survey to be reproduced?  Yes. See answer for (28b)

(30) Were the sampling and analysis methods performed consistently throughout the data record?  The two states differ in their methods and reporting.

(31) If datasets from two or more agencies are merged, are their sampling designs and methods comparable? See above.

(32) Are uncertainty measurements or estimates available for the indicator and/or the underlying data set?  No.

(33) Do the uncertainty and variability impact the conclusions that can be inferred from the data and the utility of the indicator? No. 

(34) Are there noteworthy limitations or gaps in the data record?  Please explain. No.

G.  Additional Information

(optional)

(35) Please provide any other information about this indicator you believe is necessary to aid communication and any prevent potential mis-representation.

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