Water Pollution in Chesapeake Bay

By:Elaine Cheng P7 1/6/16

Water Pollution in the Bay

Water pollution comes from everyday people doing activities. We may contribute to water pollution without even knowing it. I chose this topic to tell you of what happens when water pollution comes to the bay. Helping the bay can provides a clean, healthy, and safe place where marine species can thrive. How can I create a presentation that can inform others about the cause and effects of water pollution in the bay?

Cause of Pollution

Pollution in the bay is caused by excess nutrients, sediment input, agricultural runoff, and air pollution. Agriculture is considered one of the largest contributors to nutrient and sediment pollution, accounting to 42% nitrogen and 58% phosphorous. Yearly, about 331 million pounds of nitrogen and 20 million pounds of phosphorus enter the bay.

Effects of Pollution for the Bay

Because of it, the Bay is becoming over fertilized, making it 3/4 eutrophic and fueling algae blooms. Too much nutrients can lead to a threat of "Pfiesteria Piscicida." A microscopic organism, which can affect people to develop severe difficulties in learning and concentrating.

Algae Blooms

When too many nutrients enter the bay, what happens are algae blooms. It is when there is a rapid increase of algae in a water system. That can lead to dead zones, which is when the amount of oxygen in the water drops below 2 milligrams per liter, a level too low to support life for most marine species. Algae blooms also blocks sunlight from reaching underwater plants.

From the Field: Monitoring water quality in the Chesapeake Bay

How to Help

If you want to help Chesapeake Bay, you can do a few things:

  • conserve energy-resulting in less demands on power plants that emit nitrogen
  • drive less for less air pollution
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