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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.
Bay grasses are a critical part of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Without bay grasses, underwater creatures such as fish and blue crabs do not have the shelter they need to survive, and migratory waterfowl do not have enough food to eat.
Another important role of bay grasses is to hold bottom sediments in place. If bay grasses are gone, waves can stir up bottom sediments and make the water cloudy. This can affect bay grass beds growing in other areas because they need clear water to survive.