Eutrophication in te Chesapeake Bay

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Introduction What is your topic/issue within that topic? Eutrophication is a concern in the Chesapeake Bay. Eutrophication is caused by excessive amounts of nutrients. Excessive nutrients in the bay have negative effects on the bay's ecosystem. The extra nutrients make the environment unbalanced. The extra nutrients cause a chain reaction that eventually kills most of the organisms in that area. This is what is known as a dead zone. What is your personal interest in the topic? This topic is interesting to me because it is a very local issue. I eat the seafood out of the Chesapeake, I fish in many of its tributaries, and I visit many sights built around this watershed. I live in Lancaster County which is focused on in many studies because of how much manure the live stock in this area produces. Lancaster County produces more than ten billion pounds of manure annually. (Runoff and The Chesapeake Bay) What background information would an average reader need to know about your topic? The Chesapeake Bay is becoming a dead zone due to excessive amounts of nutrients. These nutrients feed phytoplankton which is a type of very small plant that floats. This phytoplankton in turn blocks sunlight needed by underwater grass that grows on the bed of the Chesapeake Bay. When phytoplankton die they sink to the bottom of the bay and decompose. This decomposition creates low levels of oxygen in bay. Low levels of oxygen mean that certain types of species can no longer survive in what is known as the dead zone. Populations are plummeting due to the excessive amount of nutrients, and if these nutrient levels are not reduced the dead zone will continue to grow larger. What is your research question? What are the biggest causes of the dead zone in ... ... middle of paper ... ...? Excessive nutrients from agriculture, development, and industry are harming the Chesapeake Bay. These excessive nutrients harm the habitat for many of the bays species. On top of the habitat being depleated, overfishing and diseases are also hurting the bays species. Nutrient loads can be reduced with the help of lawmakers to put a cap on the emissions allowed in the environment. If this is done the dead zone will start to recede, but the time and money need to be spent in order to save the bay. Works Cited Baker, William C., and Tom Horton. "Runoff and the Chesapeake Bay." GreenFILE. EBSCO, Nov.-Dec. 1990. Web. 1 Mar. 2014. Cerco/ASCE, Carl F. "Response of Chesapeake Bay to Nutrient Load Reductions."GreenFILE. EBSCO, Aug. 1995. Web. 6 Mar. 2014. Powledge, Fred. "Chesapeake Bay Restoration: A Model of What?" GreenFILE. EBSCO, Dec. 2005. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

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