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News and Features by Region Chesapeake Bay Archives - News and Features

Oyster Gardening Improves Water Quality, Featured by National Geographic

The innovative “Maryland Grows Oysters” program, designed to use oyster restoration for improvement of water quality in Chesapeake Bay, was featured in a National Geographic video released on October 9. The project uses cages first produced by inmates at the Hagerstown Correctional Facility and then filled with baby oysters (or spat), which are attached to docks at volunteer study locations within the Chesapeake […]

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NCCOS Completes Ecosystem Assessment of Chesapeake Bay Watersheds

NCCOS recently completed an assessment of three watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay region (Corsica, Magothy, and Rhode Rivers), exploring the linkages between dominant land-use type (agriculture, residential, and mixed-use, respectively) and aquatic ecosystem health. Habitat health was determined based on factors of water quality including dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorous concentrations, and aquatic organism health […]

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NCCOS Project Wins Publication Award

A paper supported by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science project “Multiple Stresses in Mid-Atlantic Shoreline Habitats”  won the 2014 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Boggess Award for the best paper published in the Journal of the AWRA in the prior year. The paper, “Using Multiple Watershed Models to Predict Water, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus […]

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Declining Oxygen Levels Threaten Oysters in Chesapeake Bay

NCCOS-sponsored research by the Smithsonian Institution Environmental Research Center (SERC) reveals low dissolved oxygen (hypoxia) hampers oysters’ ability to fight Dermo, a disease that has ravaged oysters throughout the Chesapeake Bay, resulting in up to two to three times more infected oysters than in waters with normal oxygen levels. Hypoxia is commonly studied on large geographic […]

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NOAA, Partners Issue Dead Zone Predictions for Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay

Scientists are expecting an average, but still large, hypoxic or “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico this year, and a slightly above-average hypoxic zone in the Chesapeake Bay. NOAA-supported modeling is forecasting this year’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic (very low oxygen) zone to cover an area ranging from 4,633 to 5,708 square miles (12,000 […]

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Spring Flood Outlook Has Implications for Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay Hypoxia

The NOAA 2014 U.S. Spring Flood Risk Assessment provides an important first look at some of the factors that influence summer hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) in the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay. This year’s predicted elevated flood risk in the Upper Midwest and the Ohio River Valley may result in a larger hypoxic […]

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Chesapeake Bay Dead Zones Show Marine Worm Species Shifts

A recent NCCOS-sponsored study conducted by the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science has found a hypoxia-induced shift in marine worm communities in Chesapeake Bay to ones made up of species that are extremely adaptable to stressful conditions like hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen). The team also found that the magnitude of the marine worm […]

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Environmental Conditions Can Influence Development of Dermo Disease in Oysters

A recent NCCOS-sponsored study by the Smithsonian Institution showed that long-term exposure to daily fluctuations of hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) increased Dermo disease (Perkinsus marinus) infection in previously uninfected eastern oysters. Surprisingly, daily-cycling pH (a measure of acidity) did not affect Dermo disease infection levels in conjunction with daily-cycling hypoxia or with continuous normal oxygen […]

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