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Lee Flooding Creating Low-Oxygen Areas In Bay

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP) — The director of the University of Maryland’s Horn Point laboratory says heavy rains from Tropical Storm Lee are causing low-oxygen areas in the Chesapeake Bay.

Laboratory director Mike Roman returned to the Cambridge lab Wednesday after eight days aboard the University of Delaware’s research vessel Hugh Sharp. Roman told The Star Democrat of Easton that researchers found low-oxygen levels and dead water from north of the Bay Bridge to south of the Patuxent River.

While the storm and flooding stirred bay waters, flushing out a dead zone that had grown over the summer, it also brought debris, pollutants and nutrients that can fuel oxygen-robbing algae blooms.

Roman said bay water was cloudier than expected with clear water not found until the ship reached the mouth of the bay.

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

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