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Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit

Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESUs) provide research, technical assistance, and education to federal land management, environment, and research agencies and their partners.  By streamlining the funding process, CESUs efficiently facilitate collaboration between partner research institutions and federal agencies on projects that help inform the agencies’ environmental and cultural management decisions.  Research institution partners within the Chesapeake Watershed (CW) CESU provide leadership in watershed science and stewardship with special emphasis on the watershed of the Chesapeake Bay.  Since its inception in 2001, more than 900 projects have been funded through the CW CESU.  Visit our projects page to learn more.

Historic battlefield cannon in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Project Spotlights

Waysides with tactile models and audio description at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.  Credit: NPS

Smithsonian Collaboration Supports NPS Tilden Award-Winning Accessible Wayside Project at FDR Memorial through CESU Network Collaboration

Smithsonian Institution
National Park Service
Spotted Turtle

At-Risk Turtles - Ongoing NPS Research Spotlight

Virginia Tech
National Park Service
Pond next to Visitors' Center in Monocacy National Battlefield

Harmful Algal Bloom Control Technology Incubator Launched

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Dr. Ricardo Sakai, Shania Brace, Nyeema Caldwell and Sierra Gee seated around a conference table looking at something Dr. Sakai is pointing to on a laptop screen.

USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) Foster Collaboration through New Internship Program

United States Geological Survey
Howard University
Graduate student and archeologist standing in foreground of lawn with trees in background.

Urban Archeology Corps

National Park Service
Binghamton University
Photo of bridge over the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry

Stress-Loving Plants and At-Risk Flora in Harpers Ferry

National Park Service
Frostburg State University
Photo of Lincoln Memorial

CW CESU partners collaborate to document physical history of the Lincoln Memorial

National Park Service
University of Pennsylvania
Photo of Vallisneria americana plants

Native Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Restoration Projects in the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers

National Park Service
DC Department of Energy and Environment & University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Rocky outcrops of Bear Rocks with shrubs in foreground and mountains in background.

CW CESU funded project leads to Bear Rocks NNL designation

National Park Service
University of Richmond & University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
the Lynnhaven River Basin Ecosystem Restoration, Phase 1 Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Restoration Site in the Broad Bay, Lynnhaven River

Lynnhaven River Basin Ecosystem Restoration CESU Project

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Our Partners are Located in Nine States Plus the District of Columbia

Conceptual map of partners in the Chesapeake Watershed CESU

Established in August 2001, the Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CW CESU) is a partnership among 69 university/research institutions and 12 federal agencies whose members strive to understand and protect the natural and cultural resources of the region.  With the Appalachian Laboratory as its lead administrative agency, the CW CESU is one of a national network of 17 such cooperative research units.

$125 Million

Federal funds awarded to partners since 2001.

> 1,000

Total projects awarded to partners since 2001.

> 80

Total partners, including universities, NGOs, state agencies, and federal agencies.

Interested in Partnering with the Chesapeake Watershed CESU?

Click below to learn more about joining the CW CESU.

What's New with the Chesapeake Watershed CESU?

Dawn in mountains

CESU and LTER to Host Federal Agency Virtual Career Forum

May 2, 2024

CESU Network - DEIA Statement and Principles

March 6, 2024
Robert Boyd filming as part of CW CESU project

CW CESU Student Award Nominations Now Open!

February 15, 2024