Oct 18, 2018 | Updated: 04:34 PM EDT

Underwater Grasses Takes Great Benefit From Chesapeake Bay, Increasing Growth Found By Scientists

May 03, 2017 07:22 AM EDT


Researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science conducted an annual survey showing plenty of underwater grasses in the Chesapeake Bay that increased 8 percent between 2015 and 2016. The trend which was founded at 2012 continued to be more popular.

According to Phys.org, in 2016 an aerial survey of the underwater grasses was conducted. This is the second consecutive year since VIMS began its aerial survey in 1984.

The Chesapeake Bay is located in North America. It is the largest estuary or also known as a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with a free connection to the open sea which sought to be one of the reasons why underwater grasses propagate.

Likewise, same facts claim that sometime 35 million years ago, an object like a comet or asteroid called the bolide struck the present-day Delmarva Peninsula, creating a 55-mile-wide crater. This event changed the way of the rivers and determined the location of the Chesapeake Bay that was created about 10,000 years ago when melting glaciers flooded the Susquehanna River Valley which in turns provides nourishment to underwater grass population.

In the news posted in Maryland Manual Online, the underwater grasses or the submerged aquatic vegetation also known as SAV has reached a new high and a total of 97,433 acres of SAV were traced in the Chesapeake Bay during 2016. According to Professor Robert "JJ" Orth, the head of the SAV Monitoring and Restoration Program at VIMS, that "It was an impressive year, following on a previously impressive year. We are at numbers that we have not seen in ever."

The increase comes whether the weather conditions are good or bad and security restrictions that prevented for the obtainment of aerial imagery for portions of the Potomac River. The VIMS team wanted to see the quality of this year's boost in the abundance of underwater grasses primarily to a major expansion of widgeon grass in the Bay's moderately salty waters.

Aerial images were not clearly captured during 2016 but due to the bad weather conditions, while the VIMS team are looking for changes in SAV abundance in Virginia's coastal bays. As a result, changes in the abundance of underwater grasses between 2015 and 2016 in the Bay's other salinity zones was mixed and the oligohaline and polyhaline salinity zones saw a decrease while abundance in the tidal fresh zone increased slightly.

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