"There are good things that can come out of this," said Chris Moore, a water quality scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. "The one species that this could really help is the blue crab."On the downside, the high rains (we got seven inches, other areas reported up to eleven), wash in sediment and pollutants:
Blue crabs spawn near the shore, but their larvae float out into the ocean, often more than 50 miles out, Moore said. High winds from hurricanes could carry many of the juvenile crabs toward the shore and away from larger predators, like sharks and sting rays.
High winds may also benefit fish and shellfish populations in the Bay and in nearby rivers that have dead zones, areas that lack the amount of oxygen in the water necessary for aquatic life to survive.
"The streams that feed major rivers are likely to have larger loads and more erosion than normal," Moore said. "The biggest concern is that we might see a much larger slug of nutrients, pollutants and sediment entering the Bay."I've heard the fishing is better now, too. Too bad my boat is still high and dry, awaiting a new coat of bottom paint.
Development in the Bay watershed has reduced wetlands and increased hard surfaces, such as paved streets. The result is that more rain water enters streams as runoff, carrying pollutants with it, rather than being absorbed into soft ground.
Sewage overflow is also a concern, particularly for the Bay.