Volunteer & Long-Term

Research and Monitoring

Research and monitoring projects increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of estuarine ecosystems. These goals are achieved in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve of Maryland, the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center, and volunteers

Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Long-term research and monitoring help inform management of estuaries

Otter Point Creek Alliance Community Science

Volunteer-led program offers the opportunity for science engagement in meaningful research and monitoring projects.

Winter Salt Watch

Volunteers measure salt content in streams within the Otter Point Creek watershed to detect road salt issues in partnership with Izaak Walton League of America.

Haha Mudflat

A volunteer-led study of water quality, macroinvertebrates, submerged aquatic vegetation, fish, and the life history of Sagittaria is planned for the summer of 2021.

Marsh Phenology

Via canoes, volunteer teams monitor dozens of marsh plant species during the spring and summer, providing critical information about response to environmental variation.


Zooplankton and water quality were monitored weekly in Otter Point Creek to record community composition and provide deeper understanding of the ecology of the habitat. Photography and data analysis are ongoing.

Juvenile Fish

Each spring and summer, volunteers capture, count, and release fish and eggs and measure water quality parameters to monitor mating success, assess the habitat, and predict species abundances.

Monarch Tagging

Staff and volunteers tag and release Monarchs as part of Project Monarch Watch to help understand the dynamics of the monarch's spectacular fall migration.

Wood Duck Box Survey

A project historically done in conjunction with Harford Christian School and IWLA, students monitor nesting boxes and implement strategies to protect and increase the wood duck population.

Summer Research Internship

Otter Point Creek Alliance funds a summer research internship for college students annually. Investigate issues important to estuaries with the support of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

Check out our Youtube channel to view past projects, such as the 2021 Snakehead Fish in Otter Point Creek.

Please see our 2023 OPCA Research Interns, Jaydin Conner & Zach Kiedrowski, presentations below:

Past Programs

Deer Survey


Marsh Bird Survey


Box Turtle Survey


Yellow Perch Survey



A selection of studies at Otter Point Creek

Marsh Sedimentation and Hydrology

Marsh Sedimentation and Hydrology

Eastern Box Turtle

Eastern Box Turtle