A “dead zone” in the Chesapeake Bay has grown to one of the worst in decades.
Data from the state’s Department of Natural Resources indicates the dead zone – an area of water with little to no oxygen – was covering 2 cubic miles at the end of July. That makes it the second-largest late-July dead zone since 1985, according to the DNR report. The average size for that time period is 1.34 cubic miles.
The worst section of the dead zone includes the lower Potomac and Patuxent rivers, as well as much of the bay, from Baltimore to the mouth of the York River, the Associated Press reported.
Air temperatures around the bay reached 100 degrees for several consecutive days in July, which heated main bay waters to temperatures as warm as 90 degrees, the DNR report said. Warmer water holds less oxygen and compounds hypoxia.