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Chesapeake Bay Underwater Grasses

Published: September 22, 2003

Bay grasses are a unique yardstick for measuring the progress of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts because they are not under harvest pressure and their health is closely linked to water quality. In recent years both the health and diversity of bay grass communities have been severely threatened, and in 1984 SAV surveys could find only 38,000 acres of grasses throughout the Bay. To help the ailing estuary, the Chesapeake Bay Program partners recently adopted a bold, new goal to restore bay grasses to 185,000 acres in the Chesapeake and its tidal tributaries by 2010.

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