Willy Reay homepage

William Reay

Director, CBNERR; Research Associate Professor

Email: [[wreay]]
Phone: (804) 684-7119
Office: Wilson House 103
Section: Coastal & Ocean Processes
Program: Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia
Interests: Watershed hydrology; ground water/surface water interactions.

  • B.S., George Mason University
  • M.S., College of William and Mary
  • Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Research Interests

My research interest encompasses two focal areas including:

  • (1) Watershed hydrology and nutrient dynamics with an emphasis on the study of groundwater-surface water interactions, and;
  • (2) wetland and ecotone response/adaptability to climate change and episodic impacts.
I am also actively engaged in the development and implementation of shallow-water monitoring programs, their integration into ocean and coastal observation systems, and more recently the development of climate-change sentinel sites.  As Director of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Past President of the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, I strongly promote conservation-based research, education, and stewardship of our nation’s estuaries. At the more local level, I am a County Commissioner for the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission and serve on the Virginia Coastal Policy Team and Management Team for the Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative.
Current Projects
  • Water-quality monitoring initiative for Chesapeake Bay water-quality standards assessments
  • Assessment of tidal emergent wetland vulnerability in the York River estuary
  • Maintenance of NOAA Chesapeake Bay interpretative buoy system in Virginia waters
  • Field and modeling studies of selected Newport News Shipbuilding storm water discharge outfalls in support of regulatory tidal water mixing zone compliance
  • Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve operations support.
Selected Publications
  • Cammer, S., W. Reay and E. Canuel. Influence of Hurricane Irene on the stream flux, composition and reactivity of dissolved organic matter draining a mid-Atlantic coastal plain watershed. Submitted to Biogeochemistry.
  • Kirwan, M., D. Walters, W. Reay and J. Carr. 2016. Sea level driven marsh expansion in a coupled model of marsh erosion and migration. Geophysical Research Letters. 43,doi: 10.1002/2016GL068507.
  • Buskey, E., M. Bundy, M. Ferner, D. Porter, W. Reay, E. Smith, and D. Trueblood. 2015. System-wide monitoring program of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System: Research to address coastal management issues.  Coastal Ocean Observing Systems: Advances and Syntheses. Editors Y. Liu, H. Kerkering and R.H. Weisberg.  Elsevier Books. pp. 392-415.
  • Reay, W.G. 2009. Water Quality within the York River Estuary. Journal of Coastal Research SI (57): 23-39.
  • Stanhope, J., I. Anderson and W.G. Reay. 2009. Base Flow Nutrient Discharges from Lower Delmarva Peninsula Watersheds of Virginia. Journal of Environmental Quality 38: 2070-2083.
  • Reay, W.G. and S. Lerberg. 2008. Living Shorelines: Restoring Multi-Function Buffers on Coastal Shorelines. Water Resources Impact 10(3): 9-11.
  • Gong, W., J. Shen and W.G. Reay. 2007. The Hydrodynamic Response of the York River Estuary to Tropical Cyclone Isabel, 2003. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 73: 695-710.
  • Reay, W.G. and K. Moore. 2005. Impacts of Tropical Cyclone Isabel on Shallow Water Quality of the York River Estuary. In: Hurricane Isabel in Perspective. K. Sellner (ed.) CRC Publication 05-160. pp. 135-144.
  • Reay, W.G. 2004. Septic Tank Impacts on Ground Water Quality and Nearshore Sediment Nutrient Flux. Ground Water 42(7): 1079-1089.
  • Castro, M.S., C. Driscoll, T.E. Jordan, W.G. Reay, and W. Boynton. 2003. Sources of Nitrogen to Estuaries in the United States. Estuaries 26(3): 803-814.
  • Robinson, M.A. and W.G. Reay. 2002. Ground Water Flow Analysis of a Mid-Atlantic Outer Coastal Plain Watershed, Virginia, USA. Groundwater 40(2): 123-131.
  • Robinson, M.A., D.L. Gallagher, W.G. Reay. 1998. Field Observation of Tidal and Seasonal Variations in Groundwater Discharge to Estuarine Surface Waters. Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation (Winter): 83-92.
  • Gallagher, D.L., A.M. Dietrich, W.G. Reay, M. Hayes, and G.M. Simmons, Jr. 1996. Groundwater Discharge of Agricultural Pesticides and Nutrients to Estuarine Waters. Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation (Winter): 118-129.
  • Reay, W.G., D.L. Gallagher and G.M. Simmons, Jr. 1995. Sediment-Water Column Oxygen and Nutrient Fluxes in Nearshore Environments of the Lower Delmarva Peninsula, USA. Marine Ecology Progress Series 118(1-3): 215-227.
  • Reay, W.G., D.L. Gallagher and G.M. Simmons, Jr. 1992. Groundwater Discharge and Its Impact on Surface Water Quality in a Chesapeake Bay Inlet. Water Resources Bulletin 28(6): 1121-1134.
Selected Service Activities
  • National Estuarine Research Reserve Association (Executive Board; President 2013-2015)
  • Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative (Steering Board)
  • Virginia Coastal Policy Team (Voting member)
  • Middle Peninsula Virginia Planning District Commission (Gloucester County Commissioner)
  • Virginia First District Environment Advisory Council.
Faculty/Student Awards
  • 2005. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Environmental Hero Award
  • 2004. Coastal America Spirit Award, Elizabeth River Project
  • 2003. Distinguished Service Award, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association
  • 2000. Coastal America Partnership Award, Fort McHenry Wetland Restoration Team
  • 1996. U.S. Patent for Flow Rate Logging Seepage Meter (Patent No. 5,497,663)