A new report released by The Chesapeake Bay Foundation found, on average, that 13.6 percent of the bay’s waters tested this summer did not have enough dissolved oxygen to support a healthy ecosystem, known as “dead zone” waters, the Department of Natural Resources reported. This is down from 18.9 percent since 1985. The best year on record was 2012, when 13.3 percent of the bay lacked sufficient oxygen.
Scientists at CBF could not offer an estimate of the overall volume of this summer’s dead zone, because some of their water quality sampling was incomplete due to rough and windy conditions.
At the beginning of the summer,the dead zone was predicted to be about 1.89 cubic miles in size.
According to Beth McGee, CBF director of science and agricultural policy, “There is scientific consensus that the dead zone is getting smaller over time, and ending earlier in the summer. “This is an indication that the Clean Water Blueprint is working. But we also know that much more needs to be done to achieve a bay that is healthy for all living creatures.”