Below is a list of the frequently asked questions related to the tag choosen.
In general, nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous reach the Chesapeake Bay from three sources: wastewater treatment plants; urban, suburban and agricultural runoff; and air pollution. Nutrients can also come from natural sources, like soil, plant material and wild animal waste.
Litter, nutrients, sediment and chemical contaminants are some of the common pollutants found in rivers and streams.
Wind and weather can carry airborne pollutants over short or long distances.
There are four sources of air pollution in the Chesapeake Bay region. Stationary sources include power plants or manufacturing facilities. Mobile sources include cars, trucks and off-road vehicles; boats; airplanes; gas-powered lawn tools; and construction equipment. Agricultural sources include farm operations that emit gases, chemicals or particulate matter. Natural sources include lightning and dust storms.
Air pollution released into the Chesapeake Bay’s airshed will eventually fall back to the earth’s surface, where it could wind up in our rivers and streams. Airborne nitrogen, for example, is one of the largest sources of pollution affecting the Bay. Just over one-third of the nitrogen polluting the Bay comes from the air.
Atmospheric deposition is the process through which air pollution settles onto land or water.
Because phytoplankton respond quickly to changes in nutrient levels, their population density acts as an indicator of nutrient pollution and Bay health.
An airshed is an area of land over which airborne pollutants can travel to enter a specific body of water. Airsheds can be very large. The Chesapeake Bay’s airshed is 570,000 square miles, stretching west to Ohio and north to Canada.
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.
Nutrient and sediment pollution are the main causes of the Chesapeake Bay’s poor water clarity. Nutrients fuel the growth of water-clouding algae blooms, while particles of sediment can float in the water. Weather also plays a role in water clarity: rain storms wash dirt and pollutants into the Bay, muddying the water.
Sometimes the Bay’s deeper waters have little or no oxygen while surface waters have more oxygen. This usually happens in summer because of a combination of factors, including temperature, nutrient pollution, the way water flows in the Bay, and the shape of the Bay’s bottom.
Temperature, nutrient pollution, the way water flows in the Bay, and the shape of the Bay’s bottom all interact with each other to affect the amount of oxygen in the water.