Floods Releasing Pollution Into Chesapeake Bay

PORT DEPOSIT, Md. (AP) — Near record flows on the Susquehanna River are bringing sewage, sediments and other pollution into the Chesapeake Bay. And that’s threatening bay grasses, oysters and other key species that help improve the bay’s water quality.

The Chesapeake Bay Program says that in addition to the Susquehanna, high flows are also being measured on other waterways in the six-state bay watershed, threatening to cover bay grasses and oyster beds in sediment. Floodwaters could also dilute the salt in the water that oysters need and free chemicals in sediment trapped behind the Conowingo Dam along the Susquehanna.

On the positive side, the bay program says flooding happened after the main bay grass growing season, and sewage and other pollutants are less likely to cause algae blooms now than earlier in the year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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