The Chesapeake Bay Program yesterday released its summer forecast -- " an 'average' summer for Bay health," according to research project leader Dr. William Dennison of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. "Unfortunately, average conditions are far from optimal. The Chesapeake Bay deserves better."
1) oxygen levels are expected to be slightly worse than last summer, though ranking near average (there's that word again) when compared to conditions over the past 22 years;
2) no significant changes are expected for Bay grasses in the northern Bay or Tangier Sound, though a slight increase is expected in the Potomac River (it's disappointing no forecast was made for the southern Bay, which has been suffering a critical die-off);
3) harmful algal blooms are predicted to start in early summer, last for one or two months, and extend 10 to 20 miles at their peak.
The full forecast is worth checking out at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/pubs/2007forecastltr.pdf