The Chesapeake’s Dead Zone Less Bad than Normal

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I’m loving this moderately hopeful environmental news lately. I mean straight-up “good” news might still be off the table, but I’ll settle for some “less bad” news — like this headline from The Baltimore Sun: “Bay’s ‘dead zone’ smaller this year so far.” Even with the qualifying “so far” this feels like cause for celebration. I mean I thought save-the-bay measures were about working out our personal feelings of guilt, who knew they would actually deliver results?

Well, in fact it may not have been our benevolent intervention that has given us “dissolved oxygen levels too low to be suitable for fish, crabs and shellfish in just 12 percent of the bay.” Scientists point to the weather to explain the abnormally small dead zone. Our mild, dry late winter conditions washed less pollution into the bay than normal.

Living in Baltimore, you may not have realized this was a banner season for life in the bay, but that’s because the Chesapeake’s algae blooms and fish kills have been concentrated right around the city.

At any rate, it’s kind of pathetic that we haven’t yet made a dent in the health of the Chesapeake that a little unseasonable weather can’t trump.



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