Chesapeake Bay Grasses Decline Again - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Chesapeake Bay Grasses Decline Again

Photo: AP Photo: AP

BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) - An annual aerial survey of Chesapeake Bay grasses has found they continued to decline last year, and researchers are again blaming a pair of 2011 storms.

Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee dumped mud and debris into the bay, and surveyors said Thursday that is the mostly likely cause for the 21% drop. A more than 20% decline the previous year was blamed on the same storms and summer heat.

Underwater grass acreage has now dropped to levels last reported in 1986. The die-off was least severe in the southern bay, where new beds were found in the James River. Grass beds declined by nearly a third in the upper bay.

The grasses provide food and habitat for many species while absorbing pollutants and helping clear water.


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