Excess Nitrogen Causing More Chesapeake Bay Algal Blooms

By on May 20, 2015
An aerial view of Chesapeake and Delaware bays from the Landsat satellite (Credit: USGS, vis Wikimedia Commons)

An aerial view of Chesapeake and Delaware bays from the Landsat satellite (Credit: USGS, vis Wikimedia Commons)

Over the past twenty years, researchers have found significant increases in algal blooms in Chesapeake Bay, according to a release from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

A recent study linked the increases in algal blooms to increased nitrogen runoff into the Bay, linked to increasing human populations in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. region and an increased use of the watershed for agriculture.

In addition to the general increase in algal bloom events, researchers also noticed increases of primary microorganisms driving algal blooms in the Chesapeake Bay, including cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are known to cause trouble in freshwater systems.

Researchers believe that reducing nutrient pollution, especially nitrogen levels, would put the Chesapeake Bay and other similar bodies of water back on the road to recovery.

Featured Image: An aerial view of Chesapeake and Delaware bays from the Landsat satellite (Credit: USGS, vis Wikimedia Commons)

About Lori Balster

Growing up near a woods, Lori has always enjoyed the outdoors. Lori is a writer and consultant based in Dayton, Ohio. Lori has also worked at Wright-Patterson AFB as a research chemist.

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