Dead Zones Larger than Normal This Summer, Bay Health Still Impr - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dead Zones Larger than Normal This Summer, Bay Health Still Improving

Posted: Jul 03, 2018 6:34 PM Updated:
(Photo credit: Maryland DNR) (Photo credit: Maryland DNR)

EASTON, Md. - A new report from scientists at the University of Maryland of Environmental Science and University of Michigan predicts dead zone will likely grow larger in size this year, making it a possibly tough summer for the Chesapeake Bay.

Dead zones happen when algae blooms in an area, usually caused by nutrients in the water, and then dies and sucks up oxygen in the water. If there's no oxygen, marine life will suffer. Still, scientists are hopeful the problem won't last long.

The report says the amount of nutrients, mainly nitrogen, is "above average" in the Bay. Alan Girard of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says wet and hot weather is to blame.

"With that we can have a larger dead zone than we've had in other years mostly because of rainfall," Girard said.

In May, sporadic and heavy rainfall dumped large amounts of nutrients into the Bay, according to scientists. Now with the heat, they say conditions are perfect for algae to continue to bloom, die, and possibly create larger dead zones.

But Girard says it's a short term concern while, long term, there are signs the Bay is improving.

"It's something certainly to be concerned about. It's also an indication that the work that we have been doing has been working so we need to continue to focus the effort," Girard says.

Matt Pluta, the ShoreRivers organization's Choptank riverkeeper, agrees with Girard: it's concerning but not alarming. From testing the water, Pluta says he's seen more dead fish popping up recently - an indication oxygen levels in the water are down.

"I haven't seen it this early in the Spring in the four years I've been monitoring the river," Pluta said. "The weather is very much out of our control but we can try and do as much as we can on the front end to prevent some of the impacts when it rains."

Pluta says agricultural runoff from homes and farms are things that can be prevented from nutrients running off into the Bay.

On the other hand, Girard stresses stormwater runoff is also a factor in causing runoff into the Bay.

 

  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Thousands of Crabs Dumped on Deal Island

    Thousands of Crabs Dumped on Deal Island

    A Somerset County man is charged with dumping thousands of dead crabs along the shoreline in Deal Island. 

    DNR says 22-year old Ryan Bailey of Princess Anne is charged with dumping, between 20 and 30 bushels of dead crabs at the Deal Island Wildlife Management area boat ramp.

    More

    A Somerset County man is charged with dumping thousands of dead crabs along the shoreline in Deal Island. 

    DNR says 22-year old Ryan Bailey of Princess Anne is charged with dumping, between 20 and 30 bushels of dead crabs at the Deal Island Wildlife Management area boat ramp.

    More
  • 4 PM Weather July 20,2018

    4 PM Weather July 20,2018

  • Proposed Roundabout for Wicomico County Intersection

    Proposed Roundabout for Wicomico County Intersection

    There is a intersection in Salisbury off Route 50 that has several roads leading into it and 12 traffic lights regulating it. 

    Mount Hermon Road, Long Avenue, Truitt Street, East Williams Street, and Main Street all intersect at one central location. 

    People in the community have mixed feelings about the intersection. Some say it should be left alone because it regulates traffic just fine while others say it is a nuisance.

    More

    There is a intersection in Salisbury off Route 50 that has several roads leading into it and 12 traffic lights regulating it. 

    Mount Hermon Road, Long Avenue, Truitt Street, East Williams Street, and Main Street all intersect at one central location. 

    People in the community have mixed feelings about the intersection. Some say it should be left alone because it regulates traffic just fine while others say it is a nuisance.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices