Dis­solved Oxy­gen level in Bay bet­ter than av­er­age for June

The Dundalk Eagle - - COMMUNITY CALENDAR -

The Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources mon­i­tor­ing data show that dis­solved oxy­gen con­di­tions in the Mary­land por­tion of the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay main­stem con­tin­ued to be bet­ter than av­er­age in June 2020.

The hy­poxic wa­ter vol­ume — waters with less than 2 mg/l oxy­gen — was 0.56 and 0.90 cu­bic miles, re­spec­tively, dur­ing early and late June mon­i­tor­ing cruises, com­pared to his­tor­i­cal (1985-2019) early and late June av­er­ages of 0.93 and 1.13 cu­bic miles, re­spec­tively. Both hy­poxic vol­umes rank within the top third of best re­sults ob­served in the his­tor­i­cal record within their re­spec­tive time frames.

Main­stem data were not col­lected in Vir­ginia dur­ing early June, but Vir­ginia’s late June bay mon­i­tor­ing ob­served no hy­poxia. No anoxic zones — ar­eas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxy­gen — were ob­served in the Mary­land or Vir­ginia bay main­stem.

Bet­ter-than-ex­pected dis­solved oxy­gen con­di­tions can be partly at­trib­uted to lower than av­er­age pre­cip­i­ta­tion in May and June, and a cooler than av­er­age May. Mary­land’s wa­ter qual­ity data can be fur ther ex­plored with a va­ri­ety of on­line tools at the Depart­ment’s Eyes on the Bay web­site.

In mid-June, the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Pro­gram, U.S Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey, Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Cen­ter for En­vi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence, and Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan sci­en­tists re­leased their pre­dic­tion for slightly small­erthan-av­er­age 2020 hy­poxic con­di­tions based on slightly less-than-av­er­age wa­ter and ni­tro­gen flows into the bay from Jan­uary to May 2020. Mon­i­tor­ing re­sults thus far have matched that fore­cast.

Crabs, fish, oys­ters, and other crea­tures in the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay re­quire oxy­gen to sur­vive. Sci­en­tists and nat­u­ral re­source man­agers study the vol­ume and du­ra­tion of bay hy­poxia to de­ter­mine possible im­pacts to bay life.

Each year from June through Septem­ber the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources com­putes these vol­umes from data col­lected by Mary­land and Vir­ginia mon­i­tor­ing teams dur­ing twice-monthly mon­i­tor­ing cruises.

Data col­lec­tion is funded by these states and the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency’s Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Pro­gram. Bay hy­poxia mon­i­tor­ing and re­port­ing will con­tinue through the sum­mer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.