(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation senior water quality scientist Dr. Beth McGee issued this statement on the impact of this week's storm on the Chesapeake Bay.
"As many in the region are dealing with the damage caused by this week's storm, initial indications are that the impacts on the Chesapeake Bay may not be as severe as some feared. Water flow from the Susquehanna River at the Conowingo dam is far short of what we saw during last year's late summer storms.
"Timing is also very important. Pollution from storm events in the late winter and spring tend to drive the summer dead zones. Last year's storms Irene and Lee significantly increased pollution in the Bay, yet this summer's dead zone was the second smallest since record keeping began in 1985. This is a clear indication that the Bay can handle a fall assault.
"While we can't control Mother Nature and the timing of storm events, the clean water blueprints the states have developed all call for improving stormwater management as well as reducing agricultural runoff. When implemented, those actions will decrease local flooding, as well as pollution delivered to the Bay from local rivers and streams throughout the 64,000 square mile watershed."