Chesapeake Bay Dead Zone

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What exactly is a dead zone and what causes it?


When their is an excessive amount of nitrogen and phosphorous in the water it can cause algae to “bloom” to harmful levels. Eventually the algae removes sunlight from reaching the plants then they die off and interrupts the whole food chain. This is because of runoffs, pesticides used by farmers, and some air pollution. This is what causes dead zones.

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What types of organisms are involved in a dead zone?

Fish such as striped bass and white perch are indirectly affected because of the algal blooms killing off the plants by reducing the sunlight that they need to survive. Due to there being a lack of plants animals that are dependent on them start to die off and then their predators soon after. The entire food web is compromised because of the algal blooms.

What are the ecological impacts of this dead zone?

Plants are affected the most because they start to grow at an alarming rate and kill themselves off. In doing so they end up messing up the food chain by eliminating the food source for most lower level consumers thus killing every organism off through the food chain. Since the entire food web ends up destroying itself, nothing is left to prosper: everything is dead hence where the name "dead zone" comes from. In the end you are left with this body of water that is completely derived of all life and humans are the ones to blame.

What are the economic impacts of this dead zone?

There are insanely large economic problems of this dead zone. The Chesapeake Bay is the home to many different organisms that thrive in this environment. In the dead zone, though, not many species live at all. Within this dead zone, there is/was a complete stoppage on fishing . Although fishing is the main industry of the Chesapeake Bay, tourism is also greatly affected. Now that the dead zone is more apparent, the tourists are not going to want to see this dreadful area. The Real Estate is also greatly affected because of not many people want to see the terrible view everyday. (CBF.org)

Geographic locations effected by these economic impacts

Some would think that just the Chesapeake Bay is being affected by the dead zone. The dead zone is actually affecting other states in its area. Some of the states that the dead zone affects are Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. In fact, most of the economic problems of this dead zone are affecting the states listed. Pennsylvania is being affected in their tourism services and boating industry. Maryland is being affected mainly in its boating industry which is not a huge problem in the economy. And lastly, Virginia is being affected in its fishing industry. (CBF.org)

How to reduce the Chesapeake Bay Dead Zone!

There's many ways to reduce the dead zone of the Chesapeake Bay although some are not easy. Of course there are the cliche ways of reducing the dead zone by cutting air pollution in the ways of car emissions and nuclear power plants but there are also some ways much more complex. One way is creating a buffer system in most, if not all, farms. These buffer systems could collect the excess fertilizer going into the bay. There are also ways of controlling the sewage excess going into the bay. Instead of going into the bay, maybe other places to put the waste could be found. Although these ways don't sound like much, it's a start and a start is what we need.

Works Cited (Nick)

"What Is Contributing to Eutrophication?" Web. 08 Feb. 2016.


"Chesapeake Bay Program." Bay Blog RSS. Web. 08 Feb. 2016.


”Chesapeak Bay Eutrophication." Http://www.umces.edu. Web.

Works Cited (Keelan)

"Large 'dead Zone' Signals Continued Problems for the Chesapeake Bay."Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.


"Chesapeake Bay Program." Bay Blog RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.


"Fish-Killing Dead Zones Set to Swarm Chesapeake Bay." TakePart. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.


"The Economic Importance of the Bay." What We Have to Lose. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.


"Nitrogen & Phosphorus." Dead Zones. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.