ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland environmental officials say underwater grasses in the nation’s largest estuary were mostly resilient to last year’s record rain and increased runoff pollutants.

A state Department of Natural Resources statement says a total of about 91,000 acres of seagrass were mapped in Chesapeake Bay the last year, only a slight drop from the 105,000 acres mapped in 2017. It says the actual acreage for last year could be significantly higher, as more than 20% of the bay wasn’t fully mapped due to bad weather and other issues.

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Heavy rain in previous years caused sharp declines in grass abundance. State biologist Brooke Landry says past years of expansion helped a majority of grass beds survive the surge in rain.

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