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Larger Summer ‘Dead Zone’ Predicted for Chesapeake Bay –NOAA

Posted by feww on June 15, 2017

Human activities threaten marine food sources

This year’s summer Chesapeake Bay hypoxic or “dead zone” will be larger than average, predicted to grow by about 9 percent to 7.88 km³, said researchers at NOAA.

The Bay’s dead zone measurement started in 1950, and the 30-year mean maximum dead zone volume is 7.25 km³.

“The Bay’s hypoxic (low-oxygen) and anoxic (oxygen-free) zones are caused by excess nutrient pollution, primarily from human activities such as agriculture and wastewater. The excess nutrients stimulate an overgrowth of algae, which then sinks and decomposes in the water. The resulting low oxygen levels are insufficient to support most marine life and habitats in near-bottom waters, threatening the Bay’s crabs, oysters and other fisheries.”

The Bay forecast is based on models developed by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Scienceoffsite link and the University of Michigan.


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