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Chesapeake Bay

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Submitted By jagiw1
Words 699
Pages 3
Jamiu B Giwa-Otusajo
BIOL 205
Lab 3
Dr. Erik Davenport

1. The Chesapeake Bay is approximately 200 miles in length and it has a width which ranges from 3.4miles to 35miles. The Chesapeake Bay watershed has so much research done on it in order to figure out strategies to revive it.

2. The Chesapeake Bay Program is a regional partnership that leads and directs protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Although the Chesapeake program partners have mutual restorative objective, they tend to implement restorative actions based on their resources. Their restorative objective include but not limited to * Reducing Pollution * Restoring Habitats * Managing Fishery * Protecting Watershed * Fostering Stewardship

3. Point source nutrient loading is a form of pollution which can be easily regulated because the nutrients are known to originate from a specific location. However in a non-point source nutrient loading the nutrient’s origin is not easily identified, which makes this kind of nutrient loading difficult to contain. 4. The greatest contributor of nutrient loading in the bay is agricultural run-offs.

5. Eutrophication is the enrichment of the ecosystem with chemical substances such as nitrogen and/or phosphorous. It can also be said to be the ecosystem’s reaction to the introduction of natural and artificial substances into aquatic habitats. An excess amount of nutrient loading fuels the growth of certain dinoflagellates, causing algae bloom. Algae bloom then cause turbidity of aquatic bodies thus hindering the penetration of light to underwater grasses. It also creates dead zones in aquatic bodies where during decomposition, denies the water of oxygen and hence suffocates marine lives that need oxygen for survival.

6. Although these strategies to recreate a better conducive and clean Chesapeake Bay ecosystem is still in process and the bay’s health in certain areas is slowly and gradually recovering, the overall condition of the ecosystem is still depraved. From recent years, strategies put in place to reduce pollution, caused mainly by nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment loading, and restore habitats for different species in the ecosystem have made significant positive impact on certain areas of the ecosystem. Also, improvements have been made on the management of fisheries and protection of watershed as attempts to reduce overharvesting, increase the amount of forest buffers and protected lands have been improved upon. However, the bay’s food web remains lower than the amount adequate to feed thriving underwater populations. In addition, the fish and shell fish population keeps suffering from pollution, diseases, overharvesting and poor water quality. Based on these results, I can infer that progress is being made and results are gotten due to the strategies used, but more work has to be done to attain the ultimate goal of a healthy bay.

7. BLUE CRABS; they are the bay’s signature crustaceans. Over the past 100 years blue crabs have dominated the Chesapeake Bay’s fisheries. An estimated one third of the nation’s blue crabs comes from the bay. In 2015 an estimated 411 million blue crabs were counted in the bay, 101 million of them were females compared to the 68.5 million in 2013. Over the years, pollution, underwater grass abundance and pressure harvesting have affected the population of blue crabs in the bay.

OYSTERS; for over a century the eastern oysters are known to be one of the most valuable fisheries in the bay but overharvesting, pollution, disease and habitat loss have reduced the population over the years. In the 1800 the transition from the use of hand thongs to dredges increase the harvest rate of oysters from 1.5 million to 20 million per year. In 1949 the prevalence of Dermo and MSX in the 1950s affected oyster population as oysters of all ages were infected between May and October of each year.

STRIPED BASS; one of the most sought after commercial fishes after they returned from a population decrease in the 1970s and 1980s. The population decline was attributed to water temperature fluctuations, low dissolved oxygen in deeper bay waters, pollution and low water quality. 8. The topic for my paper would be NUTRIENTS. It encompasses eutrophication and will touch base on the consequences of algae bloom in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

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