Bay shows evidence of bouncing back

The bay and its tributaries are home to all sorts of wildlife. (WTOP Photo/Mark Segraves)

Kristi King,

WASHINGTON – There’s evidence at least some of the Chesapeake Bay is bouncing back after two massive storms this fall.

Chesapeake Bay grasses in the upper bay survived “pretty well,” according to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Those grasses still are chugging away pumping oxygen into the bay.

However, fresh water from all that rain did kill some of the bay’s struggling oyster population, The Washington Post reports.

Nutrient rich run-off could feed algal blooms that would strip oxygen from water next spring in 2012.

Conservation groups, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, are still questioning the bay’s future and want Virginia to devote resources to doing so.

Conservation groups say Gov. Bob McDonnell’s biennial budget proposal falls short of what’s needed to fund the state’s portion of the bay’s cleanup. They propose the state issue a $300 million bond measure to help localities complete wastewater upgrades and other stormwater projects.

The Chesapeake Bay watershed includes Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York State and D.C. An executive order from the White House mandates that federal agencies must work with those states to help ensure the long-term health of the nation’s largest estuary.

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