“Invasive” Underwater Grasses Helping Maintain Bay Health

A recent study shows that despite several downward indicators, bay grasses (including some non-native introduced species) have helped maintain aquatic life in the Chesapeake Bay.

wypr145wordpress-e1274989504821On WYPR’s “The Environment In Focus,” host Tom Pelton discusses a recent study, showing how the Chesapeake Bay has dealt with heavy loads of sediment and pollutants arising from heavy storm seasons.

From the WYPR website:

But, here’s the surprising part:  the bay’s overall health dipped only slightly last year, from a 54 rating out of 100 in 2017 to a 46 in 2018. That’s much less of a slip than researchers expected with all the rainfall.

The main reason: Underwater grasses in the bay, which are critical habitat for crabs and fish and perhaps the Bay’s most important single health indicator, hung on despite the downpours, which normally smother grasses with runoff, sediment and mud.

Listen to the full 4-minute segment online, via audiostaq:

Visit the WYPR website for more information on “The Environment In Focus.”

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties
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