A June 24 Baltimore Sun article announced that the Chesapeake Bay’s annual “dead zone” is smaller than average for this time of year. The dead zone is the area of the Bay where dissolved oxygen levels are too low to support fish and marine life.
Water sampling done in early June by the Department of Natural Resources found dissolved oxygen levels too low to be suitable for fish, crabs and shellfish in just 12 percent of the bay, according to the department’s “Eyes on the Bay” website.
That’s well below the long-term average since 1985 of 17.1 percent of the Chesapeake experiencing low oxygen levels. It’s also a dramatic improvement over last year, when a third of the bay’s waters was starved of the oxygen that fish, crabs and shellfish need to breathe.
According to the article, the decrease is likely attributable to weather conditions