Large part of Chesapeake Bay is dead zone

Jul 27, 2005

Scientists this month reported finding more than a third of Chesapeake Bay -- the United States' largest estuary -- is a low-oxygen "dead zone."

That, the scientists told the Baltimore Sun, means the bay might experience one of its most unhealthy summers on record.

"The things we love to eat out of the bay will not do well with this kind of summer," Bill Dennison, a University of Maryland ecologist, told the newspaper. "Oxygen is a crucial part of the environment for the fish and crabs and oysters, and having low oxygen or no oxygen is just as devastating for them as bulldozing a forest is for other creatures."

"Dead zones" form when fertilizer and other pollutants high in nitrogen and phosphorus are washed by rain into the bay. The compounds feed an explosive growth of algae, which, in turn, die and rot. Bacteria devouring such decay consume oxygen, suffocating marine life.

A study of the bay from Virginia to its origin at the Susquehanna River in northern Maryland found about 36 percent of the bay's central stem had less than 5 milligrams per liter of dissolved oxygen -- the minimum level needed by aquatic life.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Fermi finds a 'transformer' pulsar

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Kingston, Jamaica hybrid project to harness sun and wind

3 hours ago

A hybrid energy project in Kingston, Jamaica, aims to satisfy the need for money-saving renewable energy. U.S.-based WindStream Technologies recently announced the wind solar hybrid installation commissioned ...

Archaeologists excavate NY Colonial battleground

3 hours ago

Archaeologists are excavating an 18th-century battleground in upstate New York that was the site of a desperate stand by Colonial American troops, the flashpoint of an infamous massacre and the location of the era's largest ...

Google eyes Chrome on Windows laptop battery drain

11 hours ago

Google Chrome on Microsoft Windows has been said to have a problem for some time but this week comes news that Google will give it the attention others think the problem quite deserves. Namely, Google is to ...

Security contest techies say they hacked Tesla Model S

13 hours ago

The good news: Tomorrow's cars are computers on wheels. The bad news: Tomorrow's cars are computers on wheels. Ma Jie, writing in Bloomberg News, reported this week that the Tesla Model S sedan was the target ...

Water problems lead to riots, deaths in South Africa

14 hours ago

Three babies who died from drinking tap water contaminated by sewage have become a tragic symbol of South Africa's struggle to cope with a flood of people into cities designed under apartheid to cater to ...

Recommended for you

Fermi finds a 'transformer' pulsar

7 hours ago

(Phys.org) —In late June 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at ...

New launch date set for ISS delivery vessel

8 hours ago

A robot ship will be launched from Kourou, French Guiana, after a five-day delay on July 29 to deliver provisions to the International Space Station, space transport firm Arianespace said Tuesday.

The heart of an astronaut, five years on

9 hours ago

The heart of an astronaut is a much-studied thing. Scientists have analyzed its blood flow, rhythms, atrophy and, through journal studies, even matters of the heart. But for the first time, researchers are ...

User comments : 0