The End of Cheap Crabcakes?

The AP is reporting that nutrient-rich runoff from sewage and fertilizers is causing toxic conditions for fish and crabs in the Chesapeake Bay:

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Nutrient-borne pollution is depleting oxygen in Virginia's major tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay, making it hard for fish, crabs and oysters to survive, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says.

Jeff Corbin, senior scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said he fears a repeat of last year's "dead zone," where oxygen-starved water covered 40 percent of the bay, from Baltimore to the mouth of the York River.

"We're on track to having just about as bad a dead zone problem this year," Corbin said. "That we see these conditions so early in the summer and so far up Virginia rivers is truly alarming."

Last week, the foundation found a large "mahogany tide" of brown algae several hundred yards long in the lower James River. Such blooms are known to kill oysters and other shellfish by clogging their gills and producing toxins that kill their young.

Charles Landon, a Gloucester County waterman who crabs in the York River, Ware and Severn rivers, told the Daily Press of Newport News that his catches have been rotten so far this year. "We haven't had this kind of trouble this bad before," he said.
> AP: "Pollution Chokes Off Oxygen in Va. Bay Tributaries"


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