Estuaries Vital To The Productivity Of Southeastern U.S. Fisheries

"Having much of the Chesapeake anoxic is not protecting the habitats of the fish," he said. "Losing seagrass or salt marsh is not doing the job, nor is losing mangroves."

Scientists have gathered increasing evidence that estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina's Pamlico and Albemarle sounds are being degraded by nitrogen from agricultural operations, lawn fertilizers and sewage, the destruction of wetlands for construction projects and other causes.

Excess nitrogen can cause microscopic plants to "bloom" explosively in estuarine systems and then rob the water of oxygen when they die and decay.


Contact: Monte Basgall
Duke University

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