Last year’s summer heat and heavy rains reduced Chesapeake Bay underwater grasses by more than 20 percent. Flooding caused an influx of waste and sediment to enter the bay, damaging eel grass and destroying a habitat and food for many of the bay’s species. The grasses also aid in water clarity by increasing oxygen and trapping sediments. Scientists will wait to see what happens after this warm winter with little precipitation.
On the other hand, last year’s heavy rains reduced overall salinity in brackish areas of the bay, encouraging grass in these areas to flourish more than they had in years.
Read more at Richmond Times-Dispatch.