Scientists expect the Chesapeake Bay to see an above-average dead zone this summer, due to the excess nitrogen that flowed into the Bay from the Potomac and Susquehanna rivers this spring.So how is that "Bay Diet" going?
Dead zones, or areas of little to no dissolved oxygen, form when nutrient-fueled algae blooms die and decompose. The latest dead zone forecast predicts an early-summer oxygen-free zone of 0.51 cubic miles, a mid-summer low-oxygen zone of 1.97 cubic miles and a late-summer oxygen-free zone of 0.32 cubic miles. This forecast was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is based on models developed at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) and the University of Michigan.
Yes, I know, the size of the anoxic zone is dependent on winter and spring weather, where wet, snowy weather (say, like this year) bring in more nutrients which feed the algae that die, and sink and rot and use up the oxygen and produce the dead zones, so there is a lot of year to year variation.
Still, shouldn't we be seeing something for all the money that's being spent?