The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum 2011

Points of View & Thoughtful Discussion - Bay Ecosystem


Bay Ecosystem POV & TD Navigation

Chesapeake Boyz    Bay Bum    Prestiege worldwide    flying shrimpskis of awesomeness

Spazzes    Team Swag    crackerjacks    CAKE   

Navigation to other POV pages

Bay Ecosystem  ▪  Chesapeake Bay Program   •   Developer  •  Farmers  

Homeowner  •  Local Governments  ▪  Others   •  Recreation/Tourism  •  Watermen

Comments for All Bay Ecosystem

Response        MMM Cheese Homeowners - homeowner - NHHS


              Dear everybody,   I have seen the errors of my ways. I have done some

              research and, I still believe that the bay doesn’t impact me. On the upper side, I

              will change my ways. “Nitrogen pollution is the most serious pollution problem for

              the Bay because it causes algae blooms that consume oxygen. The blooms lower

              dissolved oxygen levels so severely that fish and shellfish die.” I found that on

              the Chesapeake Bay Foundation website. I do not want to be the one responsible

              for killing all of the estuary animals. I will help all of you clean up the bay. I will

              start recycling, and buying reusable bags, and I will get a more environmentally

              helpful car to drive. i won’t even fertilize my lawn.  I hope that you all will accept

              my apology and forgive me. Sincerely, MMM Cheese Homeowners.


Bay Ecosystem

Chesapeake Boyz                                                                                       Gonzaga College HS


POV- Bay ecosystem


The area around the Chesapeake Bay is quickly destroying the bay's ecosystem. Unnatural amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus have entered this water system. Because of this, about 99% of the Chesapeake's oyster population has vanished. To restore the ecosystem, the government should encourage the public and take action themselves on reintroducing the oyster population. VCU conducted a study that showed that one million oysters could filter out 132 kg of nitrogen, 19 kg of phosphorus, and 3,823 kg of carbon. This does not only clean the water, but also makes it so that further reconstruction of the ecosystem can flourish faster. Raising oysters can also result in large profits because of their consumer demand. In addition, we should pass the Maryland Agricultural Stewardship Act. This act will not only help the bay ecosystem but also farmers that rely on the bay. This act will push for policies that would ultimately create a healthier bay. It would increase funding for cover crops for the farms. These keep nutrients that are helpful to the farm, on the farm and out of the bay where they are a pollutant. While helping farming inrease around the bay it will also clean up the water so that the ecosystem can become reestablished. Because of the state of the bay many species populations have diminished. Pollution, over- fishing, and migration blocking obstacles have become major causes of this decline. A great idea to amend these deterrents is to get high school students actively involved. In many high schools service is required to graduate. Opening opportunities for these students to restore the bay's ecosystem will result in spreading awareness about that state of the bay and it will actively fix the problems the bay faces. Projects such as research, building fish ladders, and helping to rebuild wetlands will help bring the bay to where it is today.




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    From:   The Ranger in Power - local_gov - LHS                                                   Ask


       In a local school district, seniors must volunteer for at least 15 community service

       hours before they can graduate.  I think helping to clean the Bay is one way for them

       to get their hours in.  Good idea!


    From:   Queen B's - farmer - LHS                                                                       Ask


       I think it shouldn't be required to do community service before you graduate. People

       should do it out of their own will!

    From:   CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM - CBP_Fed - none                                     Ask


       Do you think that it's too late to inform kids about the Bay Ecosystem in High School?

       Why not start in middle School and have them interact with the bay and have them not

       only discover new things but also find an appreciation for how their areas water is

       treated and taken care of?

    From:   Daring Developer - developer - NHHS                                                     Ask


       I think this is a great idea! Not only should poeple be required to do community service,

        but they should also be required to take an environmental course in high school. The

       least we can do it educate people of how their choices are effecting the Bay, so they

       become  aware of how their choices are having an impact on the Bay!

    From:   EPA Bay program - CBP_Fed - GCHS                                                      Ask


       Do you think that it's too late to inform kids about the Bay Ecosystem in High School?

       Why not start in middle School and have them interact with the bay and have them not

       only discover new things but also find an appreciation for how their areas water is

       treated and taken care of?



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Bay Ecosystem

Bay Bum                                                                                                      North Harford HS



I am the bay ecosystem. I'm important because I look out for the health of the bay. The  bay is prosperous and helpful to many people. Without the bay there wouldn't be as much tourism or seafood. Much of the seafood we get in Maryland comes from the bay. The bay has great aesthetic value. The pollution and overfishing in the bay causes many problems for me. The bay ecosystem will be ruined eventually if this all keeps up.To help the ecosystem people could put moratoriums on the mainly fished creatures. There would still be creatures for people to fish for so they wouldn't run out of business, and eventually there would be many of the depleted creatures. Another thing would be to reduce pollution by cutting back on pesticides and foresting. There are other areas to forest if it's really necessary and that way is less erosion near the bay. There are pesticides that aren't harmful to the environment that can be used and help the bay. Using these methods everyone can get a piece of what they want and need to survive. The bay ecosystem is the basis of survival of many creatures and it's dependency is necessary for the creatures to live and for pure aesthetic value. Maryland and Virginia made around three billion dollars on the creatures in the bay (NOAA, 2008) which is also quite helpful for the states.




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    From:   A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS                                                               Ask


       Thanks brother. We are glad to see there are others like us at different areas around

       the bay. Sadly, we have to disagree. A moratorium(we had to google it) would shut

       down all economic activity in and around the bay.  Less harsh restrictions, would be

       more effecient.  Putting limits on fish, crab, and shellfish harvests would be more

       proficient but still help the populations recover.  Keep it real bro. Peace.

        Response        Bay Bum - CB_Ecosystem - NHHS

                             To:  A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS


              Well I'm glad to see that you're sort of like me. I do think a moratorium would

              be most helpful but kinda strict restictions would be good too.  :]

    From:   Sydney's House - homeowner - MslmnHS                                                Ask


       I am with you. The bay affects most even if they don't realize it.



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Bay Ecosystem

Prestiege worldwide                                                                                                   Luray HS


   I have many issues. Main things such as sediment runoff, soil erosion, and debris being POV:

dumped into rivers feeding me are some to name a few. You can't control the weather so

erosion can be tough to handle. Runoff and debris problems can be decreased with the help

 of all individuals. If people choose to recycle, (not implying that everyone doesn't) then the

 amount of littering would reduced by a large measure. Remember the Gulf oil spill my

brother had to deal with awhile back. That comes from the oil everyone uses and/or

overuses. Humans aren't the only ones who had to suffer through my unclean waters.

Animals are also suffering from it such as jellyfish, sea trout, blue fish, and crabs. All

trash and nutrient items cannot be digested by fish because they would choke on these if

they tried eating it. Although the erosion, runoff, and litter aren't the only problems,  the

cost of cleaning me is going to be expensive, perhaps in the billions.  Building cleaner and

more efficient wastewater treatment plants would help. You humans should try to eliminate

 all point sources of pollution first, then try to decrease pollution from nonpoint sources.

      Humans are in large measure the reason why I don't feel well.  When you find those

sources that make me sick, I know my health will improve.  Don't let me gradually die.  The

time to act is now!




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    From:   CAKE - CB_Ecosystem - EHHS                                                                Ask


       What's your plan what is causing the pollution besides debris and run off? What kind

       of run off? Is there any other pollution problems in the bay such as invasive species or

        perhaps dumping into the bay?

    From:   A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS                                                               Ask


Being that you are the main supporter of our generally hobo lifestyle, we agree. The time to act was before this reached a critical level. Finding all sources of pollution is easier said than done.  An attempt to clean up the bay needs to start now, well...after the Catalina Wine Mixer.

        Response        Prestiege worldwide - CB_Ecosystem - LHS

                             To:  A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS


              IT needs to start before Catalina Wine Mixer. YOU BIG DUMMIES

    From:   Wally the Waterman - Waterman - NHHS                                             Ask


       I wholeheartedly support leesining runoff into streams and the bay. If I can help in

       any way just laet me know.

    From:   Chesapeake Boyz - CB_Ecosystem - GCHS                                               Ask


              You mention that finding the point sources of the pollution and waste is key to

       cleaning up the bay; however, I would like to hear more about a plan to locate these

       sources and what to do with them after they are located.  Your parallel story about

       the Gulf Oil Spill was a good appealing touch and the imagery of various species of sea

       life choking on trash was interesting. Also, I would like to hear more about the actual

       organisms in the bay, including whether or not there are any troublesome invasive




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Bay Ecosystem

flying shrimpskis of awesomeness                                                                Rappahannock HS


                     Invasive Species- Bay ecosystem

Have you ever thought about what happens when people bring non-native species into an

ecosystem? Well here is an example in Australia a man introduced rabbit to the ecosystem

to hunt, but the rabbits multiplied at a rabid rate cause of a lack of natural predators and

took over the ecosystem. So inorder to stop these invasive species we must find out

information about the bay, find out the problems in the bay, and start working on solutions.



The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary that holds more than 15 trillion gallons of water in the

bay support over 3,600 species of plants. Every year the Chesapeake foundations rates the

 Chesapeake bay a 28 out of 100. The Chesapeake Bay watershed covers over 64,000

square miles, it also covers 6 states. The bay also has two of five major Atlantic ports on

it, and also produces 5 million pounds of seafood a year which makes it great for seafood

businesses. In over 300 years approximately 50,000 non-native species have become

established on the United States. In the Chesapeake Bay there are over 200 known or

possible invasive species in the bay that are known to cause serious problems to the bay

ecosystem. Invasive species are animals and plants that are not native to their current

habitat and have a negative effect on the ecosystem they invade.


What causes problems in the Chesapeake Bay? Air pollution is a major problem of the

Chesapeake Bay. Agriculture is another problem in the bay. The sediments runoff into the

bay, which causes problems in the bay. Construction and other buildings that produce waste

 to cause problems in the bay. Invasive species also cause problems; they have been ranked

one of the top threats to our country natives.


So to the help the bay ecosystem we must stop all pollution getting into the bay and invasive

 species from entering the ecosystem. One thing we could work toward is that when you go

on a trip to a foreign country do not bring back any non-native plant or animal so they do

not interfere in the ecosystem. Some things else the people could do is try to get rid of the

 invasive species, but it's very unlikely for an invasive species to get eradicated.


So do you want the 64,000 square mile Chesapeake Bay to turn into Australia over run with

 invasive species? Then we need to start protecting the bay ecosystem now before it is too

late and to do that you need to get informed, find out the problems, and start helping out

to find solutions.




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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       Thank you for providing some background on the problems of invasive species.  Don’t

       forget that if you provide the sources for your information, it gives your arguments

       more weight and credibility.


       How in particular is agriculture, air pollution, and sediment runoff a problem in the

       bay?  You mention some suggestions for how to stop new invasive species from being

       introduced, but what do you think would be the best way to stop non-point source

       pollution?  Are there any BMPs that you would recommend implementing?



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Bay Ecosystem

Spazzes                                                                                                        Rappahannock HS





  The Chesapeake Bay invasive species cause 3 billion dollars annually. There are thousands

of invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay that cause a lot of damage. Most of the damages

from invasive species are disruption of the food chain, the bringing in of non native species,

and erosion.


  The animals that cause erosion such as the Nutria, they excavate and they feed on the

roots of marsh grasses, creating circles of mud called "eat outs". Without plants or roots

to stabilize the soil, water moves in and washes the exposed soil away, quickly eroding

marshes and converting them to open water. Just one invasive species can destroy 7000

acres of marsh.


  Another reason is it disrupts the food chain. For example; the Atlantic Menhaden was a

huge part of the food chain yet they are being over-harvested every year. When the

Menhaden depleted, that started the decline of the blue crab and the striped bass. As you

can see, the food chain is very important to any ecosystem because if one organism goes or

 comes in, and invades, it affects every other organism in the ecosystem.


  Another problem is the importation of non-native species in the bay. For example; the

Mute Swan, the Mute Swan was introduced by the Bay region for its ornamental value. 

The problem with them is that it eats 8 pounds of plants a day and it affects plant

restoration. Steps are being taken toward this by the US fish and wildlife service for

controlling invasive species populations.


  As you have read we should definitely learn more about how to control the population of

these harmful invasive species from our ecosystem. Most of the damages from invasive

species are disruption of the food chain, the bringing in of non native species, and erosion.




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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       This is a very clever POV.  Although Invasive species are not the focus of the eForum,

       you have showcased how invasive species are often an overlooked source of pollution in

        the bay, and they can have devastating effects on BMPs that people try to implement

       to mitigate the effects of pollution from other sources. 


       How else do invasive species influence the non-point source pollution problem and BMPs

        in the Chesapeake Bay watershed?


       How would you propose to control the populations of these invasive species in a manner

             that would garner support from other Stakeholders in this eForum



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Bay Ecosystem


Team Swag                                                                                                   Rappahannock HS


Invasive Species

Did you know there are over two hundred invasive species that can cause serious problems

in the Chesapeake Bay? About forty-two percent of native plants and animals listed as

threatened or endangered in the United States are at risk of further decline because of

invasive species. Invasive species can affect an ecosystem by eating native species' food or

 by occupying their habitats.


  The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. The Bay is an incredibly

complex ecosystem that includes important habitats and food webs. Each fish, bird, and

tree has specific habitat needs that must be met for it to survive. Many of the Bay's

habitats, such as marshes, forests, and aquatic reefs, are also important to the health of

the Bay. The Bay produces about five hundred million pounds of seafood per year. The

Chesapeake Bay was the first estuary in the nation to be targeted for restoration as an

integrated watershed and ecosystem.


  One of the many problems in the Bays is invasive species. Invasive species negatively

affect an ecosystem by encroaching on native species' food and/or habitat. Invasive

species rank as one of the top threats to the country's native species, just after habitat

destruction. In the Bay region there are over two hundred known or possible invasive

species thought to cause serious problems. Once an invasive species population is

established it is unlikely to be completely eradicated. Forty-six invasive species were

identified in 2001 as nuisance species of, which six pose the greatest threat to the Bay

region's ecosystem.


  Controlling invasive populations uses millions of taxpayer dollars and requires extensive

time, cooperation, and commitment. That is why it is crucial to prevent non-native species

from being introduced in the first place. One way we can fix this problem is by preventing

further population growth by population monitoring. If we can manage the invasive species

population in the Bay then we'll minimize impacts on native wildlife, important habitats, local

 economies, and conflict with humans.


  How do you feel about the invasive species in the Bay? What will you do to help this

problem? Invasive species is not the only problem in the Bay, but they have an impact on

the Bay's whole ecosystem. Think about all the species in or around the Bay. They suffer

day after day because of the invasive species population. Many of the wildlife become

endangered because of the invasive species. What will you do to help?



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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       How does the problem of invasive species affect the most serious danger facing the

       bay: non-point source pollution? 


       Is pollution affecting invasive species differently than native species in the bay




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Bay Ecosystem

crackerjacks                                                                                                 Rappahannock HS


  Do you like the luscious taste of seafood and live in Virginia? If so, you have probably

eaten seafood from the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay produces about 45,000 tons

 of seafood each year which is more than any other estuary in the United States. But this

wonderful food is depleting from the Chesapeake Bay because of the introduction of

invasive species affecting it. This introduction of various invasive species to the Chesapeake

Bay ecosystem is affecting it in a very negative way by outnumbering and overtaking the

Bay's native species. Removal and extermination of these species is the only way of

protecting the Bay's native species from further harm or even extinction.


  You are probably wondering  "What is an invasive species?" An invasive species is an animal

 or plant that is not native to the current habitat it is in and negatively affects the

ecosystem. These invasive species are able to thrive because of the lack of predators and

diseases. Invasive species are one of the country's top threats to our native species just

after habitat destruction. The Chesapeake Bay has over 200 known or possible invasive

species. Six of these invasive species are posing some of the greatest threats to the Bay's

ecosystem. These six are the zebra mussel, mute swan, nutria, phragmite, purple

loosestrife, and the water chestnut. All of these pose serious problems to the Chesapeake

Bay's ecosystem.


  These invasive species are drastically affecting the Chesapeake Bay's ecosystem. The

zebra mussel is a filter feeder native to Europe. These efficient bivalves greatly reduce

plankton which effects the oyster population. The mute swan was introduced to the U.S.

for ornamental purposes. They are a great threat because they eat 8 pounds of native

Chesapeake Bay grasses each day. The nutria is a rodent that was introduced from South

America for their fur and for weed control. Their negative effect is that they destroy

marshes like the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge where the have destroyed over

7,000 acres of marsh. Phragmites, a common marsh reed from Eurasia, have invaded one

third of the eastern United States marshes. They grow thick and choke out native species

while making conditions that will not allow new growth. Purple loosestrife is another wetland

 plant native to Eurasia. This species chokes out native species and its dense roots clog

drainage and cause costly dredging. The water chestnut was introduced from Eurasia and

Africa to the U.S. for ornamental uses in ponds. Its leaves grow thick and kill of native

underwater grasses while it provides breeding grounds for mosquitoes. As you can see,

these six invasive species pose a great threat to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. This is why

 we must focus on the solutions.


  These solutions come in ways of extermination and other ways to get rid of the species.

The zebra mussels, once established, are hard to nearly impossible to remove. This is why

laws and removal are important because no great colony has been established in the Bay.

The mute swan population is also being controlled. The state is working on minimizing the

population and creating "swan free" zones. Nutria are also being eradicated form the Bay.

In 2004, they were successfully removed from the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

by means of extermination like trapping. Phragmite control options are very expensive and

limited. Herbicide is one way of eradication but can cost around $60 an acre. Purple

loosestrife has been declared a high priority nuisance in the Bay. Colonies of European

beetles that eat the plant have been established. The water chestnut is also being removed.

Mechanical and volunteer harvesting is being used to eradicate the species. These means of

 removal have been somewhat successful but have not completely settled the problem.


  As you can see, invasive species have a great threat to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

The zebra mussel, mute swan, nutria, phragmite, purple loosestrife, and water chestnut

have greatly affected the Bay's ecosystem through destruction and the depletion of native

 species. Solutions like herbicide, trapping, and removal are working but have not completely eradicated the threat to the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem. So the next time you have steamed crabs or a fried oyster think about how your actions might affect if you will ever have them again.




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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       Thank you for providing some background on the problems of invasive species.  I

       noticed that much of your information came from  Dont forget

       that if you provide the sources for your information, it gives your arguments more

       weight and credibility


       Although invasive species are a problem, according to the Chesapeake Bay program

       website,  “The watersheds worst problem is nutrient pollution,


       How are nutrient pollution and other forms of non-point source pollution, affecting you

        as the Bay Ecosystem?



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Bay Ecosystem


CAKE                                                                                                                 East Hardy HS


Fish are very important to ecosystems. They are the upmost important because similar to

everything fish keep the population stable. A lot of fish help plants also. Plants release

oxygen into the water. Once this oxygen is in the water fish are able to breathe properly.

However if the fish are not there to fertilize plants with the wastes and corpse other living

 creatures in the ecosystem can be severely damaged.  


The main problem caused by water pollution is that it kills life that inhabits water-based

ecosystems.  Dead fish, birds, dolphins, and many other animals often wind up on beaches,

killed by pollutants in their habitat. Pollution disrupts the natural food chain as well.

Disrupting food chains make it difficult to find food to eat, in order to survive.


 As a fish I will be only one of the thousands of wildlife affected. If people would set

systems up, (better systems) more and more fish would survive and come back to the

streams and lakes they are native to.  Personally, I think the only affect on us with the

solution is positive. It may take a long time but we will return to our natural homes if they

are created as they once were.


 The type of solution I prefer is getting going on fixing outdated municipal water treatment

 plants. This basically states anyone who uses a toilet is at fault. Humanity needs to step up

 and do anything that is essential to fix insufficient sewage treatment systems. The step up

 does not have to be a huge deal it can be something very simple. The best example would

be the state of Maryland. Maryland established a $3 "flush tax" on citizens' sewer bills.

This increasingly helped funds to improve of the state's old treatment plants. If West

Virginia would adopt this kind of tax more and more money would be coming in to help

improve our water quality.



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    From:   crabby ecotours - recreation - NHHS                                                     Ask


       How much would fixing these systems cost? I live in Maryland and I’ve never heard of

       the “flush tax” so that’s nice to know. Fish aren’t the only animals being harmed in the

       Bay though.


        Response        CAKE - CB_Ecosystem - EHHS

                             To:  crabby ecotours - recreation - NHHS


              We have listed other animals that are being harmed, stating that fish are only one

               of thousands that are affected by wildlife. We have researched the Flush Tax

              and it is a real thing. It started Januray 2005 and here is a statement from a

              website about this.




              "In 2004, the Maryland Legislature took a major step towards protecting the

              Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, when it passed what has become known as

              "the flush tax".


              The bill established the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Restoration Fund to

               be supported by a $2.50 a month fee on sewer bills and an equivalent $30

              annual fee on septic system owners."


              Fixing systems would be a costly task, but it would make the water much cleaner

              and also create new jobs.



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