Reducing pollution helps bay grasses withstand warming temperatures and more extreme weather

Climate change is bringing higher temperatures and more extreme weather to the Chesapeake Bay. Follow scientist Robert “JJ” Orth from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and learn what this means for underwater grasses—an important pillar of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

  • Produced by Will Parson
  • Additional footage by Carly Shonbrun-Siege
  • Music/Audio: "Angel Tooth" by Blue Dot Sessions via
  • Photography: Virginia Governor's Negative Collection, Library of Virginia
  • Special thanks to Robert "JJ" Orth and Brooke Landry

Comments (2)

Raymond Najjar
July 23, 2020

Large underwater grass declines in the past were due to too much sediment and nitrogen coming into the Bay from the watershed. This sediment and nitrogen was generated by humans from agriculture and untreated wastewater, among other things. We have made some progress in reducing these inputs from the watershed, and bay grasses have recovered to some extent. Now climate change is threatening that recovery because the grasses don’t do well with higher temperatures and stronger storms that bring more sediment into the Bay.

Michael F Evans
July 15, 2020

The Bay Grasses disappeared back in the early 60.  Never had climate warming then.

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