Chesapeake Bay Program on-line tools to increase communication, facilitate decision making, and provide transparency

Session Date: June 1st 2016

Session Time: 1:00

Session Lead: Olivia Devereux

Session Co-Lead(s): Lewis Linker

Session Abstract:

The December 2010 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL) calls for an assessment in 2017 to review progress toward meeting the nutrient and sediment pollutant load reductions identified in the 2010 Bay TMDL. The driving purpose of the Bay TMDL's 2017 midpoint assessment is to streamline implementation and to make challenges to implementation more understandable for the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership as we move towards 2017 and 2025.

The Chesapeake Bay Program has developed multiple on-line decision-support tools that guide implementation, and consider lessons learned.  These help to:

  • Provide decision support
  • Increase transparency with stakeholder groups
  • Increase communication

These tools include: CAST (Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool), BayFAST, BayTAS and ChesapeakeStat.

  • CAST, a web-based nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment load estimator designed to allow for rapid analysis of BMPs, helps jurisdictions prepare Phase III WIPs, which will guide milestones and implementation from 2018 to 2025. CAST approximates loads using similar logic, rules and assumptions as the Watershed Model, which was used in determining the TMDL and allocations. This ensures consistency with the TMDL so that when progress is measured using the Watershed Model, the loads are comparable to CAST’s predicted loads. However, CAST does not actually “run” the Watershed Model, but rather approximates that model’s output for rapid online scenario development. The approximations are calculated using linear equations with coefficients generated through the Watershed Model using factorial inputs over combinations of BMPs and land use change. Loads are estimated for each land use and each modeling segment. Validation with the Watershed Model showed 99% agreement for TN with urban land uses.
  • BayFAST is a site-specific tool built on the CAST platform that allows users to specify the boundaries of an area (parcel up to watershed), and then select BMPs to apply on that site. BayFAST allows users to understand which BMPs provide the greatest load reduction benefit and the extent to which these BMPs can be implemented. Based on the scenario outputs, users can refine their BMP choices in their milestone and WIP planning. The site-specific nature of BayFAST provides flexible use for federal facilities, developments, and small watersheds.
  • BayTAS provides access to nutrient load, BMP, and supporting data specific to implementation of and progress toward the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. Future versions of BayTAS will provide access to additional data, including point source, facility, and permitting data.
  • ChesapeakeStat improves information-sharing and decision-making at the Chesapeake Bay Program. It provides information on the goals and outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, with a focus on accountability for this work.

The speakers on this session will discuss these modeling/decision support tools including plans for their future improvement. On-line decision support tools facilitate meeting the goals of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and the Watershed Agreement.



Time Title
1:00 New roles of CAST and BayFAST with the Phase 6 Watershed Model - Olivia Devereux - Devereux Consulting
1:20 BayTAS: providing access to model results and data - Megan Thynge - Chesapeake Bay Program
1:40 Using BayFAST for Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan Development and MS4 Compliance in Pennsylvania - Bryan Seipp - Center for Watershed Protection
2:00 Use of MAST in Developing the Maryland Phase II Statewide WIP - Robin Pellicano - Maryland Department of Environment
2:20 Improving Stakeholder Participation by Incorporating Locally-Derived Land Use Data - Jeff White - Maryland Department of the Environment
3:00 The art of using BayFAST to estimate load reduction in National Parks - Suzanne Dee - George Mason University and National Park Service
3:20 Chesapeake Bay Program On-line Tools for Implementation Modeling: MAST and BayFAST for Local Nutrient and Sediment TMDLs - William Frost - KCI Technologies, Inc.
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