Aerial and Field SAV Observations

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Coverage of underwater Bay grasses decreases in 2010

April 25th, 2011 by admin · No Comments

by David Malmquist |April 21, 2011

An annual aerial survey led by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that underwater grasses covered 79,675 acres of  Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers in 2010, a decrease of 6,239 acres from the previous year. This year’s values represent about 43 percent of the 185,000-acre baywide abundance goal set by the Chesapeake Bay Program.VIMS scientist Bob Orth, leader of the baywide annual survey, says “We were pleased that grasses remain healthy and abundant in two areas where nutrient pollution was reduced: the upper Potomac River and Susquehanna Flats. However, the overall condition for bay grasses remains one of concern with many areas still having few, if any, grass beds. In 2010, our big concern arose in the lower Bay where eelgrass appeared to suffer another setback due to the incredibly hot summertime temperatures. Since we had mapped those beds prior to the heat wave, losses there are not reflected in our final figures.” Survey flights occur from late spring to early fall.For the rest of the story, visit http://www.vims.edu/newsandevents/topstories/sav_2010_report.php

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