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Chesapeake underwater grasses decline for a second year

A tube, transporting oxygen and heated water, is tethered to a diver from the side of a boat, Wittman, Maryland.
Posted at 3:59 PM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 15:59:12-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Chesapeake Bay Program says acreage of underwater grasses in the bay shrank for the second year in a row last year.

The Daily Press reports that aerial surveys showed more than 62,000 acres of the underwater grasses that serve as a home to small blue crabs and many fish.

That’s a decrease of 7% from 2019 and 42% from 2018 _ far below the program’s target of 130,000 acres by 2025.

According to a program report released last week, pollution and sediment, which block sunlight, remain a challenge.

The biggest declines came in the moderately salty water of Tangier Sound, the mouth of the Choptank River and in the Little Choptank River, where about 5,600 acres disappeared.