Watershed Nutrient Discharges

Throughout the world, human activities have increased the discharges of sediments and plant nutrients from watersheds, contributing to pollution of lakes, estuaries, and coastal ecosystems. Watershed scientists study how landscape characteristics, ecosystem processes, and human activities interact to control the transport and loss of water, sediment, and nutrients in the streams leaving watersheds. SERC has been at the forefront of watershed research for many years and has had a unique focus on exploring how the flow of water and
materials link the land and the sea. Our regional studies of the Patuxent River watershed and the Chesapeake Bay watershed have built on the knowledge gained from long-term studies of the Rhode River watershed. Our ongoing watershed studies are developing better models for predicting watershed discharges from drainage basin characteristics and data on weather, climate, and human activities.

SERC study watershed clusters(gray and black shading) in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.







Study watersheds (green and yellow shading) in the Patuxent River drainage