As people in the region enjoy this unseasonable warmth, the Bay begins to suffer some spring algal bloom woes. In the main stem of the Bay, the Department of Natural Resources is tracking a large bloom of prorocentrum algae between the Potomac River and Tangier Island. Algal blooms like these are the result of nutrient pollution and can cause ‘dead zones’ in the water where there is little to no dissolved oxygen.
In other Bay news…
- The House of Delegates in Maryland has approved two bills that would help raise money to reduce pollution running into the Bay and its tributaries. One bill deals with sewage treatment plants and cover crops, and the other raises money to treat polluted runoff.
- The warm weather has made not only our cherry blossoms come early but our blue crabs as well! Reports from Newport News, VA say that watermen are coming back to the docks with bushels of crabs. Processing plants in the area are having a hard time keeping up with the bounty.
- Two researchers from the College of William and Mary are studying ‘hummocks’ of trees (small clumps of trees surrounded by marsh) to measure the impacts of rising sea levels on Virginia’s coast. As the waters rise, they inundate the trees’ roots and kill them, leaving ghost-white dead trunks behind.
- In Maryland’s Mattawoman Creek, yellow perch lay their eggs to mark the start of spring. In a few weeks the eggs will hatch and the small ‘fry’ will remain in the creek until they grow big enough to head for bigger waters.
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities for the Bay
March 23 – Shady Side, MD and Annapolis, MD
- Help CBF build reef balls to provide habitat for one of the Bay’s best filters: oysters! Please fill out the online registration form and come get your hands dirty to save the Bay! It will take place from 9 am to 2 pm in Shady Side, MD.
- If you are in downtown Annapolis from 3:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon, stop by the Stanley Norman, our 100 year old skipjack, to learn more about oysters and Maryland’s deep history and connection to this bivalve.
March 24 – Annapolis, MD and Talbot County, MD
- Come to the Merrill Center to see our ospreys as they make their nests for the season. From 8 am to 9 am, we will wander the property and look for these Chesapeake spring messengers.
- Ready to plant trees and shrubs? Help CBF plant a 50 acre wetland with native plants to help absorb pollution. The event will be from 10 am to 2 pm in Talbot County, MD.
March 25 – Woodbridge, VA and Henrico, VA
- Interested in learning more about streams in your local area? Join the One Stream at a Time tour. This trip will look at streams in developed areas of Prince William County and let you know how to improve their quality.
- Do you love your pet and the Bay? Come walk your dog with CBF in Three Lakes Park in Henrico, VA from 3 pm to 4 pm. We will be giving out FREE CBF doggie bag holders!
March 28 – Annapolis, MD
- Join the Rally for Clean Water! The Clean Water Healthy Families coalition will be hosting this event to show Maryland lawmakers how citizens feel about the health of their rivers, streams, and Bay. It will be from 9 am to 11 am on Lawyers’ Mall in State Circle, Annapolis. Bring your best water-related costume, a clean water sign, and your best chanting voice!
Photo: Bill Portlock/CBF
If you have an upcoming Bay-related restoration event and you need volunteers, please let us know: [email protected]. Do you enjoy working with fellow Bay Lovers to help save the Chesapeake? Become a CBF Volunteer to receive notifications about upcoming volunteer opportunities.