How does too much sediment affect the Bay, its tributaries and the underwater plants and animals that live there?

Scientist Allen Gellis with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) visits Linganore Creek in Maryland to describe how he conducts studies of sediment sources in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Sediment forms when rocks and soil weather and erode. There are two major sources of sediment: eroding land and stream banks—called watershed sources of sediment—and eroding shorelines and coasts—called tidal sources of sediment. An estimated 2.7 million tons of sediment was delivered to the Chesapeake Bay in 2013 and an average of 5.2 million tons comes in each year. Too much sediment can cloud the waters of the Bay and its tributaries, harming underwater grasses, fish and shellfish.

  • Produced by Will Parson
  • Music/Audio: "A Moment of Jazz" by Ancelin

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