Do you have a question about the Chesapeake Bay? Explore our list of frequently asked questions to learn more about the Bay and its watershed, habitats and wildlife. You can browse the FAQ by category, or explore the answers to some of our most common questions below.
If you have a question that hasn’t been answered in our FAQ, ask us by filling out the form below.
Phytoplankton populations in the Bay are an excellent indicator of nutrient pollution, as well as efforts to reduce pollution. Phytoplankton respond quickly to changes in nutrient levels, which gives researchers a good indication of the Bay’s health.
Water clarity improves when less pollution washes off the land and into streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. You can help improve water clarity by fertilizing your lawn less and planting a buffer of trees and shrubs around your property. Also, when boating, make sure you obey wake laws so you don’t stir up bottom sediments in shallow areas.
Poor water clarity is usually caused by a combination of suspended sediments, organic matter and excess nutrients that fuel the growth of water-clouding algae. Weather also plays a large role in water clarity. Rain storms can wash dirt and pollutants into the Bay and cause the water to look muddy. During drier conditions, the water is usually clearer.
Can't find your question in our FAQ? Ask us by filling out the form below. We'll do our best to answer your question in a timely manner. We may even add it to our FAQ!