bay grasses

Chesapeake Bay Program

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Scientists say an indicator of the Chesapeake Bay's health - underwater grasses - has reversed a three-year downward trend.

The Chesapeake Bay Program released its annual report on underwater grasses on Monday. The program says the abundance of underwater grasses increased 24 percent between 2012 and 2013.

Underwater grasses are considered critical to the bay ecosystem because they offer food to small invertebrates and migratory birds and shelter for young fish and blue crabs.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

With the nation marking Earth Day, Alan  Girard, Eastern Shore director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says much progress has been made in cleaning up the bay and dealing with population growth on Delmarva.

Bay Grasses Take a Hit

Apr 18, 2013

BALTIMORE (AP) - An annual aerial survey of Chesapeake Bay grasses has found they continued to decline last year, and researchers are again blaming a pair of 2011 storms.

Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee dumped mud and debris into the bay, and surveyors said Thursday that is the mostly likely cause for the 24 percent drop. A more than 20 percent decline the previous year was blamed on the same storms and summer heat.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

There are signs of recovery in the Chesapeake Bay.

Bay grasses, crabs and rockfish are all showing resilience, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program.

The grasses in particularly in the large Susquehanna Flats near the top of the bay not only survived a tropical storm two years ago but have been coming back in a dramatic way in the mid-bay areas.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the latest survey still found that only 34 percent of the bay met the standards for water oxygen levels while water clarity was still deemed very poor.


      BALTIMORE (AP) - Chesapeake Bay scientists say underwater grasses declined more than 20 percent last year, a blow to many fish and other species that need the grass to live or breed.

     Heavy rains and snow melt that sent tons of mud and debris into the bay and extreme summer heat are being blamed for the loss of the key habitat.