BALTIMORE (AP) - The size of the Chesapeake Bay's low oxygen "dead zone" is down and dry weather is getting the credit.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says testing last week found nearly 12 percent of the bay had poor oxygen levels, nearly half of the long-term average for this time of year. The dead zone dropped from about 30 percent of the bay in July, which typically is when the zone peaks each year.
Dead zones are areas where there is too little oxygen for fish, crabs and other creatures to survive. Recent dry weather has starved the bay of pollutants that fuel algae blooms, which suck up oxygen when they are broken down by bacteria.