Coastal lagoons of the Delmarva Peninsula receive varying annual nitrogen loads because of differing land uses. Extensive development and agriculture contribute to elevated nutrient loads in Maryland and Delaware. Agriculture and forests dominate Virginia's landscape, suggesting these systems receive lower loads. We used a watershed model to achieve three objectives: (1) quantify loads to Virginia lagoons; (2) determine the sources of the loads; and (3) project changes in annual loads under different development scenarios. Model simulations indicated that some Virginia lagoons receive relatively high annual nutrient loads (kg N year¯¹ ) due to intensive agriculture and a high watershed/lagoon areal ratio. Model projections also suggested that increased agricultural and residential development in Virginia could lead to annual loads (kg N year¯¹ ) typical of impacted Maryland systems. A comparison of Maryland and Virginia water quality responses to nutrient loading suggested that Virginia's lagoons exhibit a different response to nutrient loading, though the exact mechanism for this difference is unclear.
Estuaries & Coasts is the journal of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. Begun in 1977 as Chesapeake Science, the journal has gradually expanded its scope and circulation. Today, the journal publishes manuscripts covering aspects of research on physical, chemical, geological or biological systems, as well as management of those systems, at the interface between the land and the sea. The interface is broadly defined to include areas within estuaries, lagoons, wetlands, tidal rivers, watersheds that include estuaries, and near-shore coastal waters. The journal publishes original research findings, reviews, techniques, and comments.
The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation is a private, nonprofit non partisan organization. The Federation was created in 1971, when the members of two older, regionally-based estuarine research societies (AERS and NEERS) decided that a national organization was needed to address estuarine and coastal issues more broadly. The regionally based Affiliate Societies now number seven and encompass all of the coastal regions that border the United States, Canada and Mexico.