New Data on Underwater Grasses Released

The Chesapeake Bay Program released new data on underwater grasses in the bay and the region’s rivers. Bay grasses are an important indicator of bay health. Submerged grasses provide food and habitat for a number of species, add oxygen to the water and improve water clarity. The program says it also will host a teleconference to discuss areas that had significant decreases and explain possible reasons for the losses. The report indicates that the Chesapeake Bay is seeing a drop in underwater grasses. The numbers have gone from 185,000 acres 40 years ago to 80,000 acres today. The problem is less light getting through the water to the plants because of runoff, which brings sediment, fertilizer, and sewage that pollutes the nutrients.