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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Smaller dead zone forecast for Chesapeake Bay this summer

Smaller dead zone forecast for Chesapeake Bay this summer

Fewer nutrients flowing into the Chesapeake Bay this spring likely means a smaller "dead zone" this summer, federal experts say. Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) say they expect the bay's dead zone will measure about 1.37 cubic miles this year — roughly the volume of 2.3 million Olympic-size swimming pools, but still 10 percent smaller than the long-term average. A dead zone is an area where dissolved oxygen has been stripped from the water column by the decay of massive algal blooms, suffocating marine life. Algae growth explodes when there's an overload of nitrogen and phosphorus...

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