The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum 2009

Points of View & Thoughtful Questions - Bay Ecosystem


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Bay Ecosystem

Before It's Too Late                                                                                       Hampshire H.S.


  Oysters and fish as well as other wildlife suffer greatly and population decrease. Pollution is

the main cause of the lose of habitat and decrease in the population, it is already happening as

i am sure you are well aware. Are people honestly willing to throw away 350 species of fish,

dozens of crabs and shellfish, birds, mammals, and reptiles and amphibians. They decrease in

number without the replinshing of the habitats more and more of these creatures and plants will

 die off until the bay becomes nothing but death and desolation. Nutrient pollution is a huge

cause of this on going death, the death of alge the loss of oxygen the death of fish. When we

repair the bay the ecosystem will flourish, and increase in people, tourism, and recreation will

bring beauty and life back to the bay. Some how we have to reduce the nutrient pollution and

repair the damage that has been done before it is to late if it is not already.




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  From:   Awesome - Waterman - NHHS                                                                Ask


     You made the problem clear and you described it well, but you didnít show a solution to the

     problem.  That is the most important part.  What is a way to benefit you and solve the


  From:   Bay Huggers - farmer - JWHS(T)                                                           Ask


     While you bring up impressive points on why we should save the bay, you have not come up

     with a solution. You also said that by saving the different animals and species it would also

     increase tourism and recreation, but how would you deal with the massive amounts of people

     who would be visiting and how would you stop them from polluting. How would you inform

     these tourists and make them more aware of their impact on the environment?

  From:   Bay Huggers - farmer - JWHS(T)                                                           Ask


     Sounds good, but how are you going to get this out to the people to stop this mess?

  From:   Bass Assassians - Waterman - JWHS(T)                                                Ask


     What exactly is nutrient pollution? How can you repair that?  You didnít state exactly how

     you are going to accomplish this. Do you have an estimate of how much this will cost and

     where you would get the money from?

       Response    Before It's Too Late - CB_Ecosystem - HHS


             Nutriant pollution is basically the excess fertalizer that runs off of fields or soaks

             into the ground, along with things that people dump into the streams and rivers such

             as detergent. The over excess of nitrogen and phosphorus that flow into the rivers

             and streams than into the lake causeing algae to grow  when these plants die they

             decompose and the bacteria that eats the dead algae uses up oxygen. This rapid use

             of oxygen literally suffocates the fish. As for your question of how to repair this is

             to try and stop it before it starts by planting vegetation and other buffers along the

             edges of rivers and streams it is a cheap method but effective.


  From:   j. bunnies - local_gov - JWHS(T)                                                           Ask


     We do need to fix the problems in the bay. The pollution can be fixed by not allowing any

     type of chemical into the bay, no questions asked. Also anything thatís built near the bay

     could be made out of eco-friendly materials.

  From:   YES! - Youth Environmental Stewards - Other - SCHS                          Ask


     You are correct when you say that we need to stop throwing nutrients into your bay

     ecosystem so your plant and animal life can flourish but if you're planning on doing this for

     the fact that it's going to make bay life a tourist attraction and have a bigger population.But

     aren't you contradicting yourself because when you have a bigger population and a tourist

     attraction isn't it just going to throw back all those pollutants back into the water.How many

     people who come on vacation to our bay are going to care what happens to it?

       Response    Before It's Too Late - CB_Ecosystem - HHS


             Good question we were thinking of a possiable way to get perhaps a financial income

              that could contribute to the rebuilding and restoreing of the bay. However you are

             right there are issues, bugs and flaws in this plan it was a spur of the moment idea

             not a good one mind you and we would take this out of the first post if we could. But

             if it did come to pass where the bay would be beautiful healthier and clean there

             would no doubt laws put into place to maintain this beauty and people around to

             enforce them.


  From:   YES! - Youth Environmental Stewards - Other - SCHS                          Statement


     I agree that this is a very crucial matter that needs to be addressed. However, how is it

     possible to get this message out to all the people who need to help improve bay quality so

     species can survive?

  From:   Crabby Patties - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(F)                                            Ask


     what would be your solution to repair the watersheds and the bays in VA?

  From:   The Rainbow Bunch - developer - JWHS(T)                                           Statement


     I agree 100% you need to focus on the bay clean up and all the fish and water amphibins.  

     And there health and well being then it will become a wonderful, beautiful place to come and


  From:   Catch o' the Bay - CB_Ecosystem - HHS                                               Statement


     I agree with your thoughts and im not sure how we can help this situation.

  From:   Charlie's Critters - Other - JWHS(T)                                                    Statement


     i agree with the bay huggers, how do you plan to fix this?




Bay Ecosystem

Catch o' the Bay                                                                                              Hampshire H.S.


     We are important because we supply food and we also provide activities for people. We are

 also important because if we weren't living some people would would have no jobs.     We are

infected by lots of things. Everything that flows down to us that is not good for the water or

our life infects us even more.      The solution that people can do varies. If people start doing

what they can to keep streams and other bodies of water clean we wouldn't be dieing off and

we would be able to provide more things for the people. People would have to give up a little of

their money and time just to help us.     The solutions would cause an inconvenience to the

people because it takes time out of their day and money out of their pocket.     The benefits of

 the solutions would be that the people would have more successful jobs and people would have

more food.     The solution could be structured by getting farmers and landholders to take

better care of their land so the water wouldn't get so polluted by what goes in the bodies of

water.     If all the people took better care of where we live then the recreation business

would go up too. More people would want to visit because it would be cleaner than it would be if

 nobody tried to help keep us cleaner.     If the process of polution continues, all the wild life

would either start to die off or they will move, making the bay dead. Also, if this process

continues lots of people would deffinatly loose their jobs; fishermen would have to go either

farther away than what they are already going or they would have to look for different work.




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  From:   Awesome - Waterman - NHHS                                                                Ask


     All you are really saying is that if people would have been more careful in the past, this

     wouldnít be such a big problem.  Yes, thatís true, but it doesnít help us with the future!

       Response    Catch o' the Bay - CB_Ecosystem - HHS


             In response to your comment we have come up with some solutions to the present

             problems. We need to prevent the excess nutrients from continuing to build up by

             having buffers placed on land on the rivers edge and grass covers to prevent erosion.

              There should also be sediment ponds for new construction zones to not allow that

             material into the water. We should also help promote algea clean up in the bay so we

             can resurect the dead zones.

  From:   Syce Me Some Land Developers - developer - GCHS                              Ask


     All you seem to care about is the immediate inconvenience that would be done to humans

     losing jobs.  Isn't there also to consider health issues of people who get drinking water from

     here and live further away?

       Response    Catch o' the Bay - CB_Ecosystem - HHS


             Yes, you are right.  There is a threat to those who depend on the watershed for

             drinking water.  All of our solutions are to prevent the pollution from hurting

             ANYONE and their business'. 




Bay Ecosystem


The Bay Ecosystem Group                                                                                Hampshire H.S.


     We are here to represent the Bay Ecosystem which is all of the organisms in the  bay and outside of it. It is crucial that the bay be cleaned up because the organisms might start to die

because of polution in the bay. If there is a decrease in the polution then the production of

fish, crabs, clams, oysters, etc. will increase alot, plus the satisfaction of having a clean bay

filled with thousands of different healthy species. The main cause of the polution isn't in the

community itself but up stream. The ones upstream use alot of nutrients in the land they own

for farming and agriculture, but most of it that they put on the land runs into the rivers that go

into the Bay! So if there is less nutrients and more supervizing on the land then maybe there

will be less runoff. My group have listed some problems and solutions about this.


     - too much nutriets and sediment from the watersheds are flowing into the bay

     - sources of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment are high

     - most comes from a non point source

     - organisms in the bay are dying from polution


     - upgrading sewage treatment plants

     - forest buffers, sediment ponds, grass buffers, and cover crops can be used on

farming land so runoff wont be high

     - also nutrient management on farms

     - wisely manage storm water runoff

      - there is also a law that WV has never passed, or at least a restriction on it, the phosphorus use,this is a big part of the polution that is added to the bay that polutes it!



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  From:   Awesome - Waterman - NHHS                                                                Ask


     Your point of view is very organized and focused.  It is detailed in explaining the real root

     of the problem and it offers real, possible solutions.  This was easy to read and very helpful.

      Good job!

  From:   Crabby Patties - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(F)                                            Statement


     I like your plain. it is well thought out. we need people like you in Wasington. Ithink your

     plain could honestly work.

  From:   Bay O' Fun - CB_Ecosystem - GCHS                                                       Ask


     These are great points, very in-depth with a good sense of the problems and possible

     solutions about the Bay Ecosystem. Our question is, how would you deal with the high costs

     of these solutions?

  From:   Flower Children - Other - BHS                                                               Ask


     You have done a good job of recognizing the problems that the Bay is experiencing, and the

     solutions you have proposed could one day play a sizeable role in repairing the Bay; however

     it would be good to see some ideas as to how people would go about funding these solutions.






Bay Ecosystem


Bay O' Fun                                                                                              Gonzaga College H.S.


     As a part of the 3,600 species of plants, fish, and animals, we as the Bay ecosystem are an

important part to the Chesapeake watershed for many reasons. Besides the obvious varieties of

 dinner options that the Bay offers, these inhabitants of the Bay contribute to the complex

food webs and rich diversity. Whether people know it or not, they are directly polluting the

water that is affecting the animals and plants of the Bay. Nutrients from sewage plant

treatment, cars, or other wastes are decreasing the oxygen levels and increasing the nitrogen

in the water. This creates more algae that can be sustained, and forcing some fish to leave

their breeding areas. Animals such as the Bald Eagle or Great Blue Heron are not always

associated with the Bay, but they are eating off the fish that live in the waters, and they are

being negatively affected just like the other species. Solutions must be quick, but many

opponents of helping the Chesapeake Bay say that it is to cost intensive without producing

many benefits. Having a major project of cleaning the Bay would create jobs, keep the

biodiversity, and eventually earn money back to these citizens through tourism and trade. 




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  From:   The Bay Watchers - CBP_Fed - NHHS                                                   Statement


     we think that you make some very valide points. humans as a hole need to cut back on the

     amount of waste we create and start protecting the world we live in. If we dont we will lose

     are the animals and palnts that make the world what it is. 

  From:   Bass Assassians - Waterman - JWHS(T)                                                Statement


     We need to do something about the bay ASAP! We are endangering animals such as the bald

     eagle that eat the fish! Something needs to be done to save the bald eagles; they are rare

     enough as it is. Your right, a project to clean the bay would create jobs.

  From:   Syce Me Some Land Developers - developer - GCHS                              Ask


     You say that "solutions must be quick," but you don't give any examples of possibles

     solutions.  Can you give a few?




Bay Ecosystem


Crabby Crabs                                                                                             North Harford H.S.


     We are representing the bay ecosystem. We play a key role in the lives of many of the

creatures in Maryland; we offer habitat, food and a healthy ecosystem for more than 3,600

species of plants and animals. Through the years, pollution has increased greatly in the bay,

harming our plants and animals. The bay is able to counteract some of this pollution, but the

level is too high for us to fight off. Recreational activities such as boating and fishing, while

fun to do, are poising our bay. Runoff from construction sites of new large homes near the

water have destroyed the habitats of those animals living alongside the bay and the runoff of

mud from these sites causes turbidity in our water. From these homes, we also receive runoff

of the harmful pesticides they use to keep their lawns green and plants healthy. These problems

 donít just start right at the bay either, these problems have a trickledown effect; what happens

 in the streams in our back yard, will eventually lead to a river, that then leads to the bay. A

solution to our pollution problem could be to educate the public on how their actions affect the

bay on a much larger scale. This knowledge could be spread through school systems, small

businesses, news papers, and local events (Earth day). We could also try passing stronger laws

against littering or place laws on construction (how close it can be to the bay) to prevent

runoff. If we donít come up with a working solution fast, our bay ecosystem will die, which

could hurt the fisherman and therefore the Maryland economy. Our bay affects us all; we

should do all we can to help it in return.



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  From:   Bass Assassians - Waterman - JWHS(T)                                                Ask


     How is the bay able to counteract some of the pollution and is there any way that people can

     assist in this process?

  From:   tourism and recreation klan - recreation - JWHS(T)                             Ask


     This is a really good statement, what would your plan be for addressing the many problems in

     this area?

  From:   Crabby Patties - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(F)                                            Ask


     Very nice statement however you only mentioned what humans could do to help the problem.

     Is there anything you as an ecosystem could do to help the problem? You only mentioned

     stuff about humans. You're supposed to be the ecosystem. So what could you do to help?

  From:   Opequon Homeowners Association - homeowner - JWHS(F)                   Statement


     i thought your statement was very impressive. i thought it was a very good idea that you

     added that you guys could help clean the bay with your claws. And you are right that it

     wouldnt be hard to clean the bay up.

  From:   Bay O' Fun - CB_Ecosystem - GCHS                                                       Ask


     You have posed very intelligent and well thought out points. The turbidity levels found in the

     bay are extremely high and often overlooked. My question though is how do we counteract

     the amount of mud that enters the bay? It seems like a losing battle without a practical fix.




Bay Ecosystem


farview frogs                                                                                                Luray H.S. - Judd


     I think that the ecosystem in virginia is poor. We frogs believe that we do not take care of

environment enough. In our rivers and creeks there has been many fish dying, with large soars

on the side of the fish. I would like to go fishing and not see junk in our rivers. I see bottles,

bages, fishing equipement, and junk all around the rivers. When I was a little boy I ust to love

smimming in the river. Now I would not even let my dog get in our nasty rivers. I still go fishing

 in the rivers but I do not keep the fish nor eat them. Also I have not been catching many fish.

I think that the fish population is going down in virginia's rivers. It's not because im a bad

fisherman. I would love to see the river flourish with good clean water and a lot of fresh fish.

When I go fishing  clean up after myself when I go fishing. I think that everyone should unless

 they want nasty water and fish.



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  From:   Bay Huggers - farmer - JWHS(T)                                                           Statement


     you have a point about the "Junk" in our streams and rivers , just remember that although

     that is a large part of the pollution there is also a lot of chemical pollution that accounts for

     the damage that you see.

  From:   Bass Assassians - Waterman - JWHS(T)                                                Statement


     Our ecosystem is poor. Most people donít care about polluting our river and etc. People

     should learn to clean up after themselves. It should be a really expensive fine to pay for

     people that throw trash and etc into the rivers. People could make our waters more cleaner

     and attractive if they donít make it dirty in the first place.

  From:   Catch o' the Bay - CB_Ecosystem - HHS                                               Statement


     The main subject is supposed to be the whole watershed, not just Virginia.  The watershed

     includes the rivers and the bay.  The fish aren't the only organisms in trouble.  All you are

     doing is stating the problem.  What solutions do you have in mind? What do you think should

     be done for the bay?

  From:   Bay O' Fun - CB_Ecosystem - GCHS                                                       Ask


     I agree that pollution in the bay is a big issue and it affects all the beautiful wildlife like the

      fish. However, we all need to be part of the solution. A big part of the problem is that each

     person may think that their individual effort cannot solve anything. If everyone has that

     mentality then the situation is hopeless. How would you approach this issue and try to reach

     out to everyone?



Bay Ecosystem

Crabby Patties                                                                                James Wood H.S.- Fordyce


     We are fish and crabs that live in the Chesapeake Bay who are angry about the living

conditions that the humans have forced us to live in. The water that we live in and swim through

 is polluted. There are soda cans and bottles at the bottom of the bay. Our children are

threatened by the plastic bags and toxic waste that is being dumped into our water. The waste

is also killing us off quickly and we are being forced to leave certain areas.

      If the humans donít open their eyes and see what is going on we may be endangered and will die. If the humans clean up the bay we as an ecosystem will be able to flourish again and remain in the

Chesapeake Bay so people will be able to enjoy fishing and swimming. To save the bayís life all

the humans would need to do it to dig out the trash from the bottom and stop littering. Itís not

that hard to do so, and although they think that they donít need the bayís life, they do. We will

provide a chance of survival to the human race because although we donít supply much food we

still supply enough to keep the humans living for years. The solution could cost the particles in

the water to change and may still change our life and make us have to adapt to the changes but

itís better to make a change rather then dying. The solution which is cheap but requires help

could expand our life span along with the life cycle we posses. We as crabs could participate

in cleaning the bay by using our claws and digging the trash out of the sand. If the ecosystem

of the bay was so harmed that we all disappeared then it could mean less jobs for the humans

along with less food and entertainment. Cleaner streams would be better for us. We could filter

 and clean the stream more or maybe even recycle.




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Bay Ecosystem

The Little Eco Fishies...                                                                      Jefferson H.S.-Picard

We are this fish in tjhe bay                                                                                     3/26/2009

  We are the bay ecosystem and are important because we are large supply of the food for the

bay area.  Cleaner water will help the 3,600 species in our ecosystem to survive.  The water

quality in the bay is very important to us because without it we would not be able to survive. 

For example the pollution in the water causes dead zones which can cause a lot of us to die. 

Dead zones covered 40 percent of the Chesapeake Bay a few years ago, but scientists say that

less runoff would reduce the percentage of dead zones.  These dead zones are caused by algae,

 which are nourished through the excess nutrients.  The algae blooms prevent sunlight from

reaching the bottom of the bay.  When algae die it takes away the much needed oxygen from

us.  These algae dead zones will cause a lot of fish to die.  We want someone to clean up the

pollution so that the sunlight will reach us in the bay and so that the algae will not grow as

quickly.One of the most important steps to reduce sediment and pollution in the bay would be

that farmers should take more steps to reduce runoff.  Runoff from their land will create a

large amount of sediment.  Also in the suburbs the homeowners will use large amounts of

fertilizer that is unnecessary.  This fertilizer and sediment runs off into creeks and streams

that feed into the bay, and that in turn greatly affects us.One effective way to implement the

strategies would be to do an awareness campaign to help homeowners realize that they are

using too much fertilizer.  Also fertilizer companies could put information on their packaging

about keeping waterways clean so that it will create more awareness.  For the farmers it would

be a good idea to create restrictions that would require farmers to implement strategies that

would not be too costly, but that would help reduce sediment runoff.  By improving awareness

and reducing sediment and pollution we hope that the water in the Chesapeake Bay will become





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  From:   j. bunnies - local_gov - JWHS(T)                                                           Statement


     Making the community aware of the problem is a good idea. You could tell them to make as

     much stuff eco friendly as possible. That way nothing can hurt the river or enviorment 



Bay Ecosystem

Ashby Ecosystem                                                                                         Turner-Ashby H.S.


Our ecosystem is important because it provides habitats for animals and is a source of POV:

food for many organisms. Many people are taking for granted our resources and overusing

them. Non-point source pollution is one of the bays biggest problems. Pollution influences

water quality and also aids in population depletion. Over the past decades, nutrient

enrichment has affected the size of sea grass beds and other organism populations and

decreased dissolved oxygen concentrations. Too many nutrients and sediments cause

cloudy water due to algae blooms. When these algae blooms die they sink to the bottom and

 decay which depletes dissolved oxygen. Clean and clear water is important to the health of

 animals. Our ecosystem also plays a large part in the lives of the people who live here. If

the animals in the bay die off, then the watermen and other people living in and around the

ecosystem will be affected. For example, if the crabs and oysters are killed then the

fishermen and watermen will not have jobs. For most of us, the bay is a way of life. People

need to help clean up the bay and to do this we need to find a way to decrease the amount

of pollution. The problem here is we cannot find all the sources of pollution. We should try

to cut down on pollution from industrial places and large farms. BMPs are a good way to do

 this on the farms. Large farms and industrial factories contribute to a large portion of

non-point source pollution. If we could get the farms to use BMPs we could cut down on a

bunch of this pollution and bring up the water quality in the bay. Another way to improve

the bay ecosystem is to create marine nurseries. The number of Blue Crabs in the bay is

decreasing every year. Each year watermen have caught an average of 62% of the Blue

Crab population. This is way over 46%, which is the amount said by scientists to be

sustainable. Marine nurseries would help bring back certain organisms populations.

Something needs to be done before we lose any more of the organisms in the bay and

before the bay is destroyed.




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Bay Ecosystem

Ay Bay BAY                                                                                           Jefferson H.S.-Picard


It is very crucial to preserve the bay ecosystem because the bay provides many people withPOV:

 food and recreation. Who would want to live near a bay or river thatís pollluted and

barren.  Seafood prices are going to be even higher because of the  decrease in the

Chesapeake bay populution. There are many different species of animals that are being

affected by pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.  There are 3,600 different species of plants

and animals living in the bay. The main species being affected are fish, oysters, and blue

crabs.  Some of the pollution is coming from farms, agricultural runoff, and artificial

hormones getting into the rivers that lead to the bay.

      One of the many problems is poultry manure washing off farms. This manure acts as a

type of fertilizer to unnatural agae blooms that create ďdead zonesĒ  where fish and crabs

 cant breath.  Nitrogen and phosphorus feed these algae blooms. Nutrient runoff has left

too little oxygen in  40 percent of the bay.  75,000 metric tons of the food that crabs eat

is being killed in these ďdead zonesĒ.  Crabs are turning to cannibalism because of the lack

of food.  There is also too much sand and silt filling in the spaces between the river rocks

where many of these animals live. Oyster population is down to 2% of historic levels.

Restoring the oyster population is vital because the oysters filter the water and improve

clarity, while feeding.

      42% of Smallmouth Bass being found in the tributarys of the Chesapeake have both

sexes.  This is being caused by natural and synthetic hormones like PCB,  pesticides, and

different medicines.  The intersex issue has also been linked with waste streams from

sewage treatment plants and animal feeding operations. Most fish and shellfish populations

in the bay remain far below desired levels.

      We need to pay more attention to what we are letting get into our rivers and streams. 

Better management plans need to be used. The bay is slowly getting on the right track but

we need to do better to hasten the process.




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Bay Ecosystem




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