Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

R/IS-04

Susceptibility of Chesapeake Bay to invasions of non-indigenous species associated with ballast water

Principal Investigator: 

Gregory M. Ruiz

Start/End Year: 

1994 to 1998

Institution: 

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Co-Principal investigator: 

James T. Carlton, Williams College; Anson H. Hines, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center; D. Wayne Coats

Description: 

This project will determine the susceptibility of the Chesapeake Bay to the invasion of exotic species released daily in huge volumes of commercial ballast water. We propose: to determine the viability of life history stages of exotic species released into the bay from ballast tanks of cargo vessels; to measure the interactive influence of environmental salinity and temperature on the survivorship and growth of organisms collected from ballast water; to estimate the likelihood that exotic propagules, released into Chesapeake Bay can survive under the environmental conditions of the Bay at the time of deballasting; and to test whether introductions of non-native species are occurring at areas of high commercial maritime activity.