How can people help improve water clarity?
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.
What causes poor water clarity?
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.
Where do nutrients come from?
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.
Why do scientists monitor phytoplankton?
Because phytoplankton respond quickly to changes in nutrient levels, their population density acts as an indicator of nutrient pollution and Bay health.
Ask a question
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!