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Learn the Issues

There are many problems facing the Chesapeake Bay. The major pollutant to the Bay is excess nutrients, which come from agriculture, urban/suburban runoff, vehicle emissions and many other sources. Excess nutrients fuel the growth of algae blooms, which block sunlight that underwater bay grasses need to grow. When algae die, they are decomposed in a process that depletes the water of oxygen, which all aquatic animals need to survive. Learn more about some of the issues facing the Chesapeake Bay:


Nutrient pollution fuels the growth of algae blooms that block sunlight from reaching bay grasses and rob the water of oxygen. (Chesapeake Bay Program)

Nutrients are chemicals that plants and animals need to grow and survive. When too many nutrients make their way into local rivers, streams and the Bay, they can create conditions that are harmful for blue crabs, bay grasses and other underwater life. Excess amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus, two types of nutrients, are the main cause of the Bay's poor health.

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