Marine Science

Bay breathing easier? Scientists credit Chesapeake cleanup for tripling of underwater grasses critical to bay health

Bay breathing easier? Scientists credit Chesapeake cleanup for tripling of underwater grasses critical to bay health

Researchers say Chesapeake Bay cleanup initiatives have triggered a major resurgence of the underwater grasses that are at the center of the estuary's fragile food web.

Scientists from across Maryland and Virginia say that from 1984 to 2014, concentrations of nitrogen in the bay fell by 23 percent while the acreage of areas covered with submerged vegetation more than tripled, to nearly 100 square miles.

They wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of science's premier journals, that the finding “speaks directly to the value” of coordinated cleanup efforts like a so-called pollution diet that was imposed on the Chesapeake watershed in...

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