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Chester River

Watershed Observatory

This pioneer observatory will allow us to take the pulse of every aspect of the watershed. The data and results will be Internet available to agencies, academics, resource managers, and scientists. It will be melded with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for formal and informal educators throughout the Chester River watershed. The program will be exportable to other local, regional, national and global water bodies.


To learn more about the organization of the Chester River Watershed Observatory, click here.


  • The program will be tied to the social, economic and cultural aspects of the watershed.
  • It will allow measurements of input to the watershed that contribute to eutrophication, including; nutrients, sediments, and others. It will eventually allow forecasting of water quality conditions in the Chester River.
  • 18 schools in the Chester River watershed will be fitted with a full functioning, Internet connected, weather station. This will allow the microclimate within the Watershed to be monitored and analyzed.
  • STEM Education will be integrated across the Watershed Curriculum, using hands-on programs developed by personnel at the CES; including; Build a Buoy, Basic Observation Buoys & Aquabotz (Underwater Robotics).
  • Benthic and shoreline habitat will be mapped using Callinectes and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. The results will be melded with aerial imagery so that the river can be viewed as if it were empty of water.
  • Technology will be introduced that allows the monitoring of fish moving to and from the Bay to be identified and enumerated.
  • Models that simulate river flow under a variety of conditions will be constructed and made available via the Internet. The models will help understand where improvements in land management or water treatment will lead to improved water quality.