News Release, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Maryland Department of Natural Resources monitoring data shows that dissolved oxygen conditions in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were higher than average in September. The hypoxic water volume — waters with less than 2 mg/l oxygen — was 0.73 cubic miles in September, down from the 1.06 cubic miles seen in late August, but greater than the historical 0.41 cubic mile average for September. No anoxia — waters with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen — was detected. This ranked as the fifth-largest Maryland September hypoxia volume since monitoring began in 1985.
Overall, summer 2019 ranked as the third-worst average Maryland hypoxia volume calculated from monitoring data. Only 1998 and 2005 ranked above it, and 2003 was a close fourth. Monitoring results match the forecast prediction from early summer by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Geological Survey, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and University of Michigan scientists. Their forecasting predicted 2019 would have the fourth-worst hypoxia seen in the past 20 years for the Chesapeake Bay. Predictions were based on higher flows last fall and this spring, which produce higher nitrogen loading from the Susquehanna and Potomac Rivers that in part determines the extent and duration of hypoxia.
Crabs, fish, oysters, and other creatures in the Chesapeake Bay require oxygen to survive. Scientists and natural resource managers study the volume and duration of bay hypoxia to determine possible impacts to bay life. Each year (June-September), the Maryland Department of Natural Resources computes these volumes from data collected by Maryland and Virginia monitoring teams during twice-monthly monitoring cruises. Data collection is funded by these states and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program.
Bay hypoxia monitoring and reporting is conducted every summer, June through September. Generally, hypoxia is not observed on a large scale in mid-October as waters cool and weather systems mix oxygen into deeper waters.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at email@example.com
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II