Aug 24

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Underwater grasses in the Chesapeake Bay have made a comeback.

Photo Credit: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Transcript of the Audio Podcast:

Signs of recovery in America’s largest estuary… On this CurrentCast.

In the Chesapeake Bay there are large beds of underwater grasses called the Susquehanna Flats. Sensitive to water quality, these grasses act as a barometer for the health of the bay.

In the late sixties, watershed pollution started the grasses on a thirty year decline. Then, in the late nineties a drought temporarily dried up rivers and prevented new pollutants from clouding up the bay.

Kemp: “The plants started to see more light, and they started to grow more extensively.”

That’s Michael Kemp of the University of Maryland. He says momentum picked up as the grass itself helped purify the water, and pollution management improved.

It’s a reassuring sign that with cleanup efforts, polluted estuaries can recover.

Support for CurrentCast comes from the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas. Learn more online at http://www.current-cast.org.

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Photo credit: ChesapeakeBayEO


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