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For the second year in a row, smaller Chesapeake Bay dead zone forecast for the summer

June 23, 2021

Chesapeake Bay Program — Press Release — June 21, 2021

For the second year in a row, a smaller than average “dead zone” is forecasted for this summer in the Chesapeake Bay. The forecast was released today and conducted by researchers from the Chesapeake Bay Program, University of Maryland, University of Michigan and U.S. Geological Survey.  The dead zone is an area of little to no oxygen that forms when excess nutrients, including both nitrogen and phosphorus, enter the water through polluted runoff.

The forecast for a smaller than average dead zone is due to reduced river flows entering the Chesapeake Bay this spring, as well as less nutrient and sediment pollution from management actions taken across the watershed to improve water quality. 

The USGS works with partners to monitor nutrients and river flow in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and provided data that contributed to the forecast models. 


Read the Chesapeake Bay Program’s news release here.


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