The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum 2008

Points of View & Thoughtful Questions - Bay Ecosystem


Bay Ecosystem POV & TQ Navigation

fishies   KFT   The One-Celled Organisms   J & K   BN critters   D.C.I.R.

When fish fight back   Fish's Wishes   The Blind Anteater   Wild Celery


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Bay Ecosystem

fishies                                                                                                    Moorefield H.S.-Gillies



   Whether you like it or not people are a huge influence on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

THere are over 16 million people living near the Chesapeake Bay and you would be surprised

to learn how many of them pollute the bay. One of the most serious pollution problems for

the bay is the excessive nitrogen in the water. Nitrogen pollution is one of the most serious

problems because it causes algae to bloom and algae consumes the oxygen in the water,

which causes animals to die because the oxygen levels become extremely low. The excessive

 nitrogen pollution is from us humans, such as sewage treatment, animal operations (large-

scale), agriculture, and air pollution (ex. vehicle exhaust).    The pollution also comes from

factories, farms, cities, and suburbs as the pollution flows into the streams, or waterways,

which flow right into the Chesapeake Bay. These habits of us as individuals have clearly

damaged the water quality so restrictedly that the bay is on the EPA's "dirty water" list.  

  Yet, the polluted runoff has over-fertilized the waterways. Also, with the excess nitrogen

in the water, the over-growth of algae blocks the light needed by other plants in the water.

Then, whenever the algae dies it just consumes more of the oxygen which affects the bays

ecosystem even more.     However, there are solutions, we can upgrade sewage treatment

plants, decrease the use of fertilizer, and drive less to decrease the amount of vehicle

exhaust. Natural filters, such as wetlands, forests, and underwater grasses should be

restored. The bay has lost approximately 90 percent of grasses, and close to 50 percent of

 the forest buffers. Therefore, people need to help to restore the Chesapeake Bay

ecosystem.#2 How the Bay's Problems Affect You    Much of the living things in the

Chesapeake Bay are too small to see with the naked eye. Microscpic plants and animals,

known as plankton, are the most important species in the Bay. Without them, no other

animals would be able to survive. All living animals in an ecosystem need energy in the form

of food. Plants and animals continuously circulate energy in a complex network called a

food web. 


   Many invertabrates feed on phytoplankton, including early stages of mollusks, crabs, and

even some fish species. Small animals provide food for larger animals. Animals such as adult

 striped bass, ospreys, and humans. All animals in the bay area ultimately depend on the

abundant supply of phytoplankton. Excessive nutrients alter living populations in the bay, by

stimulating algae growth.     This growth of algea can cloud the water, causing rooted

aquatic plants to die. Decomposing algae use up much of the waters oxygen supply. Which

stresses fish and other animals in the bay.    Toxic substances collect in the sediments on

the bay's floor and slowly enter the food web. Excessive nutrients and toxins, such as

sewage and chemicals affect the growth of plants and animals in and around the bay.Due

to pollution of waterways, many species are becoming endangered. My friends such as the

oysters, crabs, and striped bass, just to name a few, are low in numbers. Population,

impervious surfaces, and land use are all impacting our number. Fisheries would greatly help

 by reproducing different types of species to help raise our numbers and keep us from

completely dying out. The determination of a certain number of fish allowed to be caught,

called conservation, willhelp keep people from taking too many of us from the water at a

time. Allocation, the determining of who gets to catch the resources, keeps fish from being

caught and used for the wrong reasons. Simple solutions such as these can be used to help

out a bay's ecosystem. Other solutions you can do at home that will greatly help involve

using as much fertilizer (or not using any), and takin part in a waste management program.

All of these things take but only a few minutes are easy to do and can make a big impact on

 water exosystems. All help will be greatly appreciated by all your finned and gilled friends!

Remember, know matter how little you may seem to be helping, a little will go a long way,

get involved! There are many ways that the Chesapake Bay's ecosystem could change from

 possible solutins. You could use restrict point source pollutants and require storm water

management in new developments to slow down rain water and help keep it from washing

materials in to bay. This helps to keep the water clear and less polluted. There are laws that

 help keep the water clean by recycling and conserving water. People also help by not

littering in the bay which keeps it clean. Enhanced environmental indicators and approach will

 improve assessment of the ecosystem condition of watersheds. Understanding the multiple

factors affecting the of and changes in fish and bir species. Understanding the ecosystem

condition change will improve targeting of benefit. Forecasting the potential impacts of

human population growth and climate variablity will allow manager to make improbed

strategies for ecosystem conservation, restoration, and sustainability. That is some sloution

and the ways the bay would be affected.

Resources 1)







Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond

Thoughtful Questions

  From:   The Forester Boys - Other - KHS(K)                                                      Statement


     You have very good point of views.

       Response    fishies - CB_Ecosystem - MHS


             Well, [managing] fertilizer and pesticides are a good way of [reducing] runoff

             pollution...And Thanks!

  From:   The Chesapeake Strip Mall - Other - MRGS                                           Ask


     We liked your ideas, but we were just wondering what exactly you had in mind when you

     mentioned waste management programs? Do you have any specific waste treatments in

     mind, like bio-remediation? Other than that, it was a very informative POV paper.





Bay Ecosystem


KFT                                                                                                         Hampshire H.S.-Moore


Hi! We are from Hampshire High School Environmental Science and we are concerned

about the Agricultural Best Management Practices of animal waste management systems. 

Considering the animal waste systems practice designs for proper handling, storage, and

utilization of wastes generated from confined animal operations and include a way of

collecting, scraping, or washing wastes and contamination into appropriate waste storage

structures. We plan to create a new system structure that involves a designated area for

all animal waste. First a plan needs to be made that would have all points of the new system

 structure examined, confirmed, and approved by the county council. After all permits are

approved, the designated area for the waste will be excavated and closed off all access to

the stream other than employees will be prohibited. Our first intention is to mandate that

all animal owners with large amounts of waste (determined by the county council) will have

to be bagged and delivered to the stream. The employees will then drop the bags into the

stream, gravity and water will drift the bags to the barge downstream. New jobs will also

be created with workers stationed along certain areas of the stream to maintain sanitation

and keep them flowing. Workers at the barge will be waiting to collect the bags. The waste,

being used as fertilizer, will be recycled into marshes to increase the amount of crabs,

oysters, and fish.



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Thoughtful Questions

  From:   DORY-DORY FISH - Waterman - MHS                                        Ask


     Couldnt there be a better way of transporting the waste other than sending it down

     a river in bags?

       Response    KFT - CB_Ecosystem - HHS


             We believe that there are many different approaches that could be taken

             towards transporting the waste, but this way conserves energy, produces new

             jobs within the community, and cuts down the amount of pollution being put into

             the air. The "bags" would be resourceful rather than shipping them and as stated

             previously conserves energy, time, and money that could be put to better use.

             Maybe you could give us some of your input on a better way of transportation.

  From:   The Pitchforks - farmer - MdSA                                                            Statement


     Dory Dory Fish i agree. Honestly though? poop in a bag?

     what kind of bag would u use? are we talking duffel? plastic? paper?

     What happens when the bag gets caught on a branch? Rock? who gets it? And when the

     bags break and the waste dumps into the water, do you know what will happen? more

     algae vegetation will grow which will start a whole process that would be more

     devastating than any amount of money to safely transport waste.  And please tell me

     how there would be more crabs, oysters, and fish in the Bay, which will be full of POOP.

     thank you. please answer. im eager to hear.

       Response    KFT - CB_Ecosystem - HHS


             We believe that you didn't read the whole POV.

             If you read carefully you would note that their would be people stationed along

             the river, which would create new jobs within the community.  These people will

             make sure nothing gets caught on a "rock" or a "branch."  They will also make

             sure that there isn't anything in the way of the downstream flow.  A duffle bag?

              Please.  The bags will be made of neoprene, the material used to make white

             water rafts.  Within a day, methane gas starts to form and makes the bags very

             flamboyant, which makes them tougher and float quicker.


  From:   The Pearls - local_gov - MdSA                                                                Ask


     Do you realize that although the excess nutrients could increase crab and oyster

     population, it would also increase the amount of algae? Excess algae will block sunlight

     from reaching SAVs, therefore minimizing the amount of photosynthesis. This decrease

     in photosynthesis will upset the whole ecosystem.

  From:   Because we said so. - local_gov - JWHS(T)                                           Ask


     I don't really get why you would have this as a solution. One, it is not reliable. Two, most

     people would think that its crazy. Three, there are a lot of things that could go wrong.

     I honestly don't think that everybody would go along with this idea. Scooping animal poop

      into a bag then throwing it in the river to be washed downstream for other people to

     pick up. What if a bag got stuck somehwere along the river, depending on how far up the

      river it is stuck someone might have to travel miles to find it. How would all the bags be

     acounted for? Yes, People could add up the amount of bags or label them maybe, but

     still would it really make it easier?

     It's a pretty crazy idea and I'd like to know more about how you would plan to make

            this work with all the things that could go wrong.





Bay Ecosystem


The One-Celled Organisms                                                                     Jefferson H.S.-Gipson


We, the living organisms of the bay are important because this is our home. We live here.

What you put into our bay, and what you do to it affects us in more ways than you humans

can know. They can kill us and our food source. What you do to try to help us can possibly

make things worse for us. You really need to do your research before you go around

messing with our homes, and our families and our food sources. You wouldn't like it if we

came into your homes and killed you, or your family, or destoried your homes. You wouldn't

like it if we killed off your food sources, so why must you do it to us? We would like for

you to stop shipping that confounded black slicky stuff across our homes, risking it to come

out of your metal things and kill us, smother our homes, and sufficate our food. While we

sit around waiting for you people to get smart, we're loosing our homes. We wait and watch

as our world dies around us. Some solutions that you humans do can help us or destory us

forever, and then you'll lose some important animals in the world's ecosystem. So, in

short, you humans need to wise up and quit messing with our homes and our lives




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Thoughtful Questions


  From:   KFT - CB_Ecosystem - HHS                                                          Ask


     What specific pollution are you most concerned about?

     Where do you think it's coming from and how do you propose to stop it?

     Where did you find your information?

     Have you done further research to back up your statements?

       Response    The One-Celled Organisms - CB_Ecosystem -

                                                                                       4/10/2008       1:32:00 PM

             We are mainly concerned about oil and littering! We think that these

             pollutants are coming from people who don't care about the world around

             them. We want to teach them to take better care of the Earth for

             generations to come. We got our information from listening to the world, and

              what scientists have told us about what we're doing to the Earth. We have

             paid attention to our world and we know what is happening to it. Research?

             Oops. . .

  From:   fishies - CB_Ecosystem - MHS                                                     Ask


     How are we killing the organisms in the bay?

     With what pollution?

     you need to be more specific.

     you don't make any sense!

     Did you write this by hand, or did you have a source?

       Response    The One-Celled Organisms - CB_Ecosystem -


             All of the trash you've put in our bay traps us and we can't get out of it! We

             drown, or we get eaten, or starve! The oil that gets spilled, gets on us, and we

             can't move or breathe. Abandoned fishing nets trap us and just like with the

             trash, we die. The fertilizers and pesticides that drain into our bay choke us, burn

              us, and if they don't kill us, they permanantely injure us. And yes, we wrote this

             by hand.

       Response    fishies - CB_Ecosystem - MHS



             so if oil, pesticides, and fertilizers are the ways that humans are killing organisms

             in the bay, then how do you propose to fix these problems.

             you need to find solutions in order to fix these problems that you mention!

             (besides to say "wise up and quit messing with our homes and our lives")



  From:   Home Jackets - homeowner - MHS                                              Statement


     You could have stated how us, humans, can keep from killing off your food and

     inhibit water pollution.

  From:   KFT - CB_Ecosystem - HHS                                                                     Statement


     We think that your group is "attacking" the problem rather than attempting to fix it. Its

     obvious that you have already found the problem to be fixed, but have yet to come up

     with a realistic way to solve it.

  From:   The Pitchforks - farmer - MdSA                                                            Ask


     Considering that you guys are humans as well, how would you like us to wise up? What

     are some of the things you would like us to do? How are you guys "wising up"?





Bay Ecosystem


J & K                                                                                                    Hampshire H.S.-Moore


The Chesapeake Bay needs to be improved. We are changing the way we farm and build POV:

streets and homes.  We need healthy condition for our watershed. We represent the

ecosystem. We include of 350 different species of fish. Hundreds of plants and numerous

other aquatic organisms. We provide the base of the food chain, food for millions of people.

 Most fish are dying due to suffocation when oxygen is depleted from the water. Organism

 discoloring is killing the fish in the water by toxins. The bay is being threatened by pollution

 and development. Help us save the Chesapeake Bay.  




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Thoughtful Questions


  From:   BN critters - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(F)                                                  Statement


     I think your right the watershed is going down hill and people need to do something about

      it for example recycle and useing a more efective energy supplise instead of polluting

     the waters.

  From:   Bojangles - farmer - JWHS(T)                                                                Statement


     I agree with your views...If something is not done to reverse the declining condition of

            the bay, native fish and animal species will be in trouble.



Bay Ecosystem


BN critters                                                                                      James Wood H.S.-Fordyce


  I am an important critter of the Chesapeake Bay and I am angry that people treat it so POV:

badly. We help keep the soil in place and also provide food for the entire ecosystem. If we

are getting destroyed by toxins then the whole food chain can be affected. All these toxins

 are caused by humans like farmers with their pesticides and businesses with the waste

that they dump in the rivers.

  The pollutants and toxins in the river and in the forest affect us all. Deer, fish, and other

important critters of the watershed are slowly but surely becoming mutated. This is bad

because the food chain because of all the bad animals and rivers.

  The affect the cleanup of the bay can have is a good one. It will help us be able to survive

 better because of the cleaner waters, and also less debris and sediment in the rivers. We

will become less sickened by the wastes. One problem is that there will be less land for us

because of all the cleanup machinery there will also be a lot more humans.

  The best way to clean up the watershed and bay for us critters is to get rid of some of

the toxins in the river and lakes. It would also help if there were plants and trees planted

that will help reduce debris that goes into the river. This is the best and most helpful way

for the watershed and for us all.

  If the plants and critters were to disappear then humans would find it hard to survive.

They depend on all the seafood fish and plants that they would be in danger for survival.

Also the plants would no longer be able to make oxygen and there would be an even more

excess amount of carbon dioxide. That is what would happen if all the critters disappeared.



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Thoughtful Questions



Bay Ecosystem


D.C.I.R.                                                                                          James Wood H.S.-Fordyce


  As critters, our way of life is naturally different from other forms of life.  That little

fundamental is what makes it so hard for others to understand our current dilemma.  Our

home, the Chesapeake Bay, has come under fire to the polluting assault of human expansion.

  Obviously, we can’t fight back to this threat so we will ultimately suffer, whether it’s by

artificial euthropation or by thermal pollution, it will still hit us the hardest.  Oh sure,

humans think they have the right to change and under plow the environment at will, but

what happens when the cycle is shattered by the permanent loss of a species?  Honestly,

when we die out as critters, the Chesapeake will fall as well, leaving the Bay in chaos and

disorder.  We, as critters, may not be able to speak or fight back, but you can. So please

consider our strife!!!



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Thoughtful Questions

  From:   J & K - CB_Ecosystem - HHS                                                      Ask


     We are also part of the ecosystem. We should just shut down the supply of food

     sources. Like crabs, shrimp, and oysters. Those humans want to eat. If there is not

     any seafood, thousands of people won’t have jobs. Millions won’t have food to eat.

     Have you ever heard of the “Cell from Hell”? Pfiesteria  piscicida. We will get there

     attention! If they don’t stop polluting us then we will pollute them back.

       Response    D.C.I.R. - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(F)


             That's an intriging motion, however, there would be a bad kick back for

             "polluting" back in response.  Not saying it's a bad idea, I mean heck, I'm all for

             "they killed are kids so lets kill theirs" phlosophy, its just a little unothadox.  Being

              passive agressive in an enviromental approuch can help give everyone a chance to

             live and make jobs or feed those who use the Chesapeake Bay as a life style.  And

              no, I've never heard'd you call it? "Cell from Hell"?  Enlighten me,

             Gandi! ;) (That was a joke, so please don't sue...)

       Response    J & K - CB_Ecosystem - HHS


             Maybe you will learn something today. Be frightened… very frightened.


       Response    D.C.I.R. - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(F)


             I went to the site you posted...THAT WAS SOME SCARY STUFF!!  WHY MUST

             THINGS GO THIS WAY?? IT'S TERRIBLE!!  *sound of me rolling up into the

             fedal position, cursing*  Anyway, you're no Captain Planet, but I did learn

             something new, so thanks!



  From:   awesomley amazing super spectacular envoirnmentalist - Other -          Ask


     What do you think has caused these toxins are they natural or human causes?

  From:   The Blind Anteater - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(T)                                    Statement


     I understand what you are trying to convey but how do you want to fix it? anyone can

     point out all the bad in the bay but you need to expand on your subject, ALOT! it seems

     youve got the idea down so just finish it and your done.

       Statement    TA developing co. - developer - JWHS(F)


             This is really good. You are right about the people thinking that they have the

             right to change the environment at their own will. But how do you think you can

             get their attention, not to change the environment at their own will?




Bay Ecosystem


When fish fight back                                                                     James Wood H.S.-Fordyce


The Fish in the Chesapeake Bay

  I have came here to persuade you to stop and look at the Chesapeake Bay and think of

what it would be like without fish in it. Yeah a lot of people would be mad and a lot of

people would be out of a job. But that isn’t the only thing, also the bay would start to get

all nasty and unclean because we weren’t there to keep it clean. The water would start to

turn green and then moss would form on top of it. Once the moss forms on top of it, it

takes away all of the oxygen in the water and makes it almost impossible for fish to live in


  Also there wouldn’t be as much tourism because there wouldn’t be any fish to catch our to

 go out dolphin or whale spotting. The other fish in the ocean would eventually be harmed

because of the lack of fish in the Chesapeake Bay. Also the economy would be hurting again

 because of so many people out of jobs and a lack of tourism. It would all just make a

chain of events to make life hard on us the people if we didn’t have fish.

  Those are the reasons we need to have fish in the Chesapeake Bay and help to keep the

Bay clean and alive. So clean up the Bay!



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Thoughtful Questions

  From:   Home Jackets - homeowner - MHS                                              Statement


     Ya you are right about the fish what would the world be like without the fish there

     well be no seafood, fishing, etc.,. Your POV paper was good.

       Response    When fish fight back - CB_Ecosystem -


             thanks for responding. It would suck if we didnt have fish because then it would

             be pointless for me to have a second house at the bay.

  From:   The Pearls - local_gov - MdSA                                                                Statement


     If you are a tourist and are not a permanent resident close to the Bay, I don't

     understand how you pay for it. ALthough you may spend some money on tourist

     attractions which may contribute to helping pay for the Bay, your taxes do not help our

     Bay. In fact, many of the attractions that tourist support are not Bay friendly and are

     harming the Bay more than they are helping it.

  From:   The Pearls - local_gov - MdSA                                                                Ask


     i wasnt aware that the fish clean the water...i thought that was what shrimp and clams

            and and oyster and other filter feeders did...

  From:   Fish Slime - Waterman - RHS                                                                 Statement


     Dear Pearls;  I read your comment to When Fish Fight Back. Menhaden are filter

     feeders, which clean the bay. For more info read our POV or check out menhaden on the


  From:   The Blind Anteater - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(T)                                    Ask


     What type of fish are you? Different fish get affected in different ways. This is a

     serious question.




Bay Ecosystem

Fish's Wishes                                                                                               Keyser H.S.-Kurtz


     I’m a Chesapeake Bay fish and you’re affecting me.

     Pollution to the waterways just has to stop for the sake of us fish.

Sedimentation to the waterways decreases water depth making our navigation nearly

impossible. It also releases toxic chemicals into our waters. Would you like it if we did that

to you? Pollution just isn’t right. It affects our feeding habits too. Mmmm mouth full of

dirt, sounds good huh? It gets into our gills WHERE WE BREATH. How would you like it if

someone threw dirt in your face while you were gasping for air?

It destroys the mucous covering, which protects our eyes. It dislodges plants,

invertebrates, and insects and stream beds. The sedimentation is literally stealing our food.

 It gets into our body and causes abnormalities and sometimes even death. It buries and

even suffocates our eggs. So not only are you killing us, the fish, but your also killing our

children. What a punch in the face. Finally, with a 4% increase in sedimentation most fish

will begin to die, and an 8% increase all of the fish will be dead. In addition, with a 15%

increase in sedimentation all organisms in the waterways will DIE.

     What we want done.

     We want nature to take its course with the waterway cleanups. We want the amount of

fertilizers to be decreased. We want riparian buffers added to every stream and

waterway in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. And one of the most common, we want people

 to stop dumping their pollutants into the water.




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Thoughtful Questions

  From:   Representing Luke Mill - Other - KHS(K)                                     Ask


     If your a fish how did you type this report?

  From:   The Blind Anteater - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(T)                                    Ask


     i understand that you want nature to fix the waterways but would it be nicer if we

     helped we cant just dissaper and wait for nature to take its course?





Bay Ecosystem


The Blind Anteater                                                                         James Wood H.S.-Takarsh

Critter                                                                                                                      4/9/2008

Chesapeake Bay Watershed

     Being a critter in the Chesapeake Bay, we encounter some problems caused by humans.

One of the main problems that we have encountered is the amount of pollution in the water.

 It’s hard to live when you are breathing toxic chemicals. The ambition of sport fishing is

dropping at a dramatic pace. Tourism is also being affected. People come to the bay to see

the vast amount of water; they don’t want to see the water if there is dead fish floating on

 the surface. People are also not wanting to swim or do any activities involving touching the


     Animals are important to the watershed because they: Create industries, manage the

salinity, temperature, and circulation of the water, provide fun and excitement, and help

filter the water. They‘re too important to the bay to let them die. The more fish that are in

 the water today the more there will be in generations to come. They also attract tourists.

     We encounter many of different pollution, the factories spill there wastes in our homes,

 and the farmer’s fertilizers drain into our waters. They effect us by killing our community.

 They give us many different types of deformations. I seen fish with 3 eyes and 6 fins, the

 problem is getting out of control.  We cant do anything to stop the polluting, all we can do

is wait.

     We’ve seen dramatic changes in the surrounding areas. We see less and less people each

 year. We here about the problems with the pollution. They fear of the fishing business will

cease to exist if they don’t do anything to stop it. We herd them talking about how there

losing money and shutting down family business. We fear if they don’t do anything we might

 get to populated.



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Thoughtful Questions

  From:   Fish's Wishes - CB_Ecosystem - KHS(K)                                                 Ask


     What changes have taken place in surrounding areas? If the water flowing to the bay

     was perfectly clean, the bay itself would be in much better shape.

       Response    The Blind Anteater - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(T)


             The surrounding areas have been affected dramaticaly. In the following ways:

             Tourism has been slow, envirnment isn't healthy, and animals are suffering.

       Response    The Blind Anteater - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(T)


             um ya, that would fix the issue but the water coming in that is contaminated and

             the water in the bay already that’s the issue to begin with so I’m not completely

             understanding you question fully.

       Response    The Blind Anteater - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(T)


            it would be cleaner, the changes have been cleaner water and more ppl.




Bay Ecosystem

Wild Celery                                                                                                 Calvert H.S.-Gustin


As a contributing community to the Chesapeake Bay’s success, we, the wild celery, are POV:

demanding some attention.  The water quality of our habitat is at risk.  If we do not act

soon, the entire bay ecosystem will be destroyed.  


As wild celery, we serve many purposes for the Chesapeake Bay.  Our primary goal is to

provide food and shelter for other organisms.  We provide shade and shelter for young

bluegill, and largemouth bass.  In addition, we are a delicacy for a variety of waterfowl,

including canvasback and redhead ducks.  In the winter, marsh birds and shore bird ducks

rely on our winter buds and rootstocks for food during their long migratory trip. 

Obviously, we are an important factor in maintaining the biodiversity within the bay.


Since we are a member of the SAV (Submerged Aquatic Vegetation) community, we also

take care of the overall well-being of the bay.  This means that we protect the water

quality, the shorelines of the bay, and everything in it.  We add oxygen to the water as a

product of photosynthesis.  We trap and anchor sediment that would otherwise be

suspended, clouding the water, and burying organisms.  Along with that, we soften wave

action to protect the shoreline from erosion.  Finally, we absorb excess nutrient, which

helps us grow and keep algae out.  As one can clearly see, we are one group of hardworking



What do we get in return?  We get nothing but problems.  The bay used to support several

hundred thousand of acres of SAV including us, but for decades we have been declining

along with the Bay’s overall water quality.   Excessive nutrients, such as nitrogen and

phosphorous, are washing into our habitat when fertilizers are applied to lawns and

agricultural fields.  High levels of nutrients stimulate the rapid growths of algae, known as

blooms. Algae blooms cloud the water and reduce the amount of sunlight reaching SAV. 

Certain types of algae grow directly on the plants, further reducing available sunlight. This

overabundance of algae starts to block our sunlight that we need in order to perform

photosynthesis.  Then, we become weak and unable to produce food for ourselves.  This is

unfair, since we do so much to keep other organisms fed and sheltered.  


Nutrients come from three major sources, sewage treatment plants, agricultural fields,

and fertilized lawns. Every day, more than one billion gallons of treated sewage effluent

enters the Bay from treatment plants. Runoff from farm fields and lawns dumps tons of

nutrient-rich fertilizers into the Chesapeake Bay each year. In addition to fertilizers, oils

and other pollutants, runoff may also contain herbicides and pesticides that are toxic to

other aquatic organism.


To add to this problem, sedimentation clouds our water and blocks even more of our

sunlight.  Excessive amounts of sediment may cover us completely. Sources of sediment include runoff from farms, building sites, and highway construction. Shoreline erosion also

adds sediment to Bay water. Land development, boat traffic and loss of shoreline

vegetation accelerate natural erosion. All of these sources can easily be managed to help

protect our health.


In order to save us and reduce non-point pollution, we have a few suggestions.  Improving

water quality is key to restoring all underwater grasses. Land-use planning, wetland

protection, and riparian buffer planting are all designed to help restore and protect us by

limiting sedimentation and nutrient runoff.  Any sort of buffering along water ways and

shorelines help hold soil and its nutrients in place and keep it out of our water.  Planting

trees along the coast or putting up a silt fence around construction sites drastically

reduces the amount of sediment deposited in the Bay.  The reduction of sediment and

nutrients helps not only us, but all SAV and other organisms in our ecosystem.  Help us get

back to where we started so we can continue managing the bay.


We may be asking the Chesapeake Bay community to pay a little, but in the end the whole

community is rewarded by our productivity.  We aren’t bearing the cost of these solutions,

but why should we?  As a prominent member of the ecosystem, we should be protected

with a small price paid for by land users.   


Our presence or absence reflects the general water quality of the bay. Like the proverbial

canary in a coal mine, we can be used as a barometer to gauge the relative health of the

Bay or any of its tributaries. Everyone who lives, works and plays in the Chesapeake Bay

watershed, directly affects the water quality through everyday activities. Our existence

reflects your stewardship for the Chesapeake Bay and the wildlife it supports.




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  From:   The Blind Anteater - CB_Ecosystem - JWHS(T)                                    Statement


     Very nice job on your report, it seems you’ve done a lot of research to get your point

            and have done well you make some good points and have some good ideas

  From:   Bojangles - farmer - JWHS(T)                                                                Statement


     The celery in that pic is definitly wild




Bay Ecosystem




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