This summer’s oxygen-poor “dead zone” in the Chesapeake Bay was the smallest since scientists started monitoring it in 1985, according to estimates by researchers in Maryland and Virginia. The good news for the bay could reflect the lower-than-average rainfall in the bay watershed this year, experts said. Rainwater carries pollutants into the Chesapeake, inundating the estuary with nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous from farm fields, lawns and city streets, which trigger the growth of algae blooms that draw oxygen from the water as they decompose, creating the dead zones.
This year’s Chesapeake Bay ‘dead zone’ was the smallest on record, going back to 1985
November 29, 2023