Chesapeake Bay Research Paper

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Chesapeake Bay is North America’s largest estuary lying inland from the Atlantic Ocean, and is surrounded by the North American mainland to the west and the Delmarva Peninsula to the East. The Chesapeake Bay is important because it provides both water and food. Over the years the Chesapeake Bay has been the victim of many different types of pollution, climate changes, and invading plants that are harmful to the ecosystem affecting the way of life around the Bay. The first type of pollution is agricultural run-off. Agricultural runoff is the greatest threat to the Chesapeake Bay. The primary causes for agricultural runoff are fertilizer, irrigation of fields, and poor disposal of animal waste. Although fertilizer, and manure are great for growing…show more content…
The first animal is the Chesapeake Bay blue crab. Blue crabs are not only the most important economical fishery in the Chesapeake Bay. They are also a powerful icon of the whole mid-Atlantic region as a symbol of the cultural roots in the Chesapeake Bay. Although the blue crab is an important piece of the Chesapeake Bay, they experience a decline over the last few decades causing some states to lose money. The bay's crab population decreased to 260 million in 2007 from 791 million in 1990, costing Maryland and Virginia about $640 million from 1998 to 2006 (2008). Now from looking at that’s a lot of money that’s going down the drain just from the decline in blue crab. But what is causing the decline in the blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay? The first is the pollution that is running into the Bay and the increase in dead zones. Dead zones are large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from human activities cause "dead zones" or area that very low amount of oxygen (Chesapeake Bay Foundation). The other reason for the decline in blue crabs is due to over fish, but there has been guidelines put in place so that over fishing doesn’t happen. Though the decline of the blue crab lasted for over a little more than a decade in recent years there has been a slight increase in the population do with the efforts to make guidelines to help the…show more content…
One plant life is the bay grasses, which are plants that grow underground and can be found in the shallow waters of the Chesapeake Bay (Chesapeake Bay Program, 2012). How pollution affects the bay grass is that its growth is affected by the pollution that is clouding the water (Chesapeake Bay Program, 2012). Weather that is harmful to the bay grass is high water temperatures or excess rainfall. Temperature is a one way that weather affects the bay grass because some of the bay grass like eelgrass can’t survive in water that is too warm, and in 2005, high temperatures caused large beds of eelgrass in the lower part of the Bay to die (Chesapeake Bay Program, 2012). A heavy rainfall can also be hazardous to the bay grass due to the rain washing nutrients and other harmful substances. Although it’s been said that the growth of the bay grass under water would take several years to grow back to its former glory. Even modern science is trying to find ways to restore the grass, but do to irregular weather, poor water quality, and the lack of money are slowing down the operation (Chesapeake Bay Program,

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