GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. (WJZ) — Dead-zone conditions in the Chesapeake Bay were “considerably less” in 2020 than in previous years, thanks in part to cool temperatures, a new report concluded.
The annual report from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science said a number of factors contributed to the reduced low-oxygen “hypoxic” conditions, including lower precipitation and nutrient runoff levels. Low oxygen levels can cause dead zones.
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According to the report, dead-zone conditions peaked on July 22 due to weak winds and high temperatures, but those conditions were cut by more than half following Hurricane Isaias moving across the region.
Overall dead-zone conditions were the lowest in five years in 2020, the report found.