Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Debris Disagreement

Two articles today (well, yesterday and today really) about the giant wave of debris moving down the Bay that I predicted, and reported on Monday:

Debris Mostly Gone, Muddy Water Remains In Bay
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Tropical Storm Lee is now a memory but the storm is proving to have a lasting and very negative impact on the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
Dirt, trash and debris is in the Bay right now, thanks to Lee. A lot of it has moved on, but dirt and sediment are still in the bay. How much is unknown.

“We need to determine what the impact of this particular event had on the Chesapeake Bay,” said Bruce Michael, Department of Natural Resources.

Officials are on a three-day mission to sample the water quality from the surface to the bottom, from Virginia to the mouth of the bay. They’ve been doing this since the mid-80s.

“Is it still going to have as bad of an effect as Hurricane Agnes? [Agnes basically] wiped out all the underwater grasses,” Michael said.

Watermen and state scientists won’t know about the impact on crabs and oysters until spring.

It looks a lot cleaner than it did even last week, which is good news.

That debris field from the storm is now in Virginia waters, nearing the mouth of the bay.

Debris still in Bay, but conditions improving 
STEVENSVILLE Floating debris triggered by Tropical Storm Lee is still being found in the Chesapeake Bay, but the situation appears to be slowly improving.

Moochie Gilmer, the head of the Queen Anne's County Watermen's Association, said while the debris has caused problems for area watermen, he hopes the fall crabbing season may be "close to normal."

Gilmer, speaking by telephone at mid-day Tuesday from his boat in Eastern Bay, said conditions are "looking a little better," although workboats still have to watch for floating trees and other debris that washed into the Bay following the storms.

Most of the debris came from the Susquehanna River, the Bay's largest source of fresh water, when 44 of 53 floodgates at the Conowingo Dam upstream from Havre de Grace and Port Deposit were opened following Lee's heavy rains.
I'm closer to the second view than the first.  There's still a lot of trash, out there, some of stranded but easily refloated by winds and tides.

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