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Chesapeake Bay dead zone smaller than in recent years

Experts from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources report that the 2020 dead zone is the second smallest observed in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay since monitoring began in 1985, according to a release from the Chesapeake Bay Program.

In their 2020 Chesapeake Bay Dead Zone Report Card, researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at Gloucester Point also reported that throughout the entire bay this year’s dead zone was smaller than most recorded in the past 35 years.

In June, researchers from the Chesapeake Bay Program, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, University of Michigan and U.S. Geological Survey forecasted that the bay would see a slightly smaller than average dead zone this year, due to reduced spring rainfall and less nutrient-rich runoff flowing into the bay from the watershed.

According to the release, in the short-term experts believe that several factors, including more average river flows and unseasonab...

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