Florence has moved on, but high waters still may send torrent of pollution to Chesapeake

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The Baltimore Sun — by Scott Dance — September 19, 2018

"Hurricane Florence has moved on, but the storm is nonetheless forecast to deliver another potentially damaging slug of floodwaters and pollution to the Chesapeake Bay over the next few days.

Rising waters on the Susquehanna River are expected to crest Thursday night, prompting the operator of the Conowingo Dam to again open floodgates that allow sediment, nutrient pollution and trash flowing down from Pennsylvania to reach the Chesapeake Bay. Exelon Corp. has already collected three times more debris from the rim of the dam over the past nine months than it normally does over an entire year.

Scientists and bay advocates say the latest surge could be enough to ensure that the estuary’s improving health takes a hit. The region’s second-rainiest summer on record has already washed unusual amounts of pollution and debris into the bay at a time when freshwater flows into its waterways are normally at their lowest.

The cumulative impact of all that rain could be a significant setback for underwater grasses, oysters and oxygen levels across the bay, said Scott Phillips, Chesapeake Bay coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey. . ."

Read the full article at The Baltimore Sun

 

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