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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Chesapeake Bay Program says underwater grasses in the Susquehanna Flats survived this fall’s heavy rains better than researchers expected.

Heavy rains from back-to-back storms that caused widespread flooding throughout the Northeast also sent tons of garbage and sediment into the bay. That raised concerns about damage to underwater grasses in the upper bay that are a key habitat for many species.

However, the Chesapeake Bay Program says aerial photos taken in November show the damage was not as bad as feared. Robert Orth of Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences says declines were found along the edges, but researchers were surprised by how much of the beds remained. Orth heads a team that conducts an annual survey of bay grasses.

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


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