MAIA 1997-98 Summary Report
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
2002.EPA/620/R-02/003. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Atlantic Ecology Division, Narragansett, RI.
During the summers of 1997-98, a consortium of federal and state environmental agencies conducted the Mid-Atlantic Integrated Assessment Estuaries (MAIA-E) program to characterize the environmental condition of the four major estuaries in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The assessed estuaries were the Delaware Estuary, Chesapeake Bay, the coastal bays in Maryland and Virginia, and the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System. Twelve smaller estuaries were also monitored to focus attention on systems at the local scale. Over 800 stations were selected at random and key properties were measured in three estuarine components the water column, the sediments, and the biological community. This summary report examines thirteen measured or calculated parameters that serve as indicators of estuarine conditions. Three important environmental issues are emphasized: eutrophication, contamination of the sediments, and the impairment of the biological communities in the estuaries.