Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bad water and the decline of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay

source: Chesapeake Bay Foundation
"Pollution has been a major factor in the decline of the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population, according to a new report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). Key findings include that dead zones kill an estimated 75,000 tons of bottom-dwelling clams and worms each year, enough to feed 60 million crabs annually. In addition, algal blooms caused by nitrogen and phosphorus pollution have damaged underwater grass beds, key crab habitat. More than half the eelgrass beds in the lower Bay have died since the early 1970s."