Chesapeake Bay Watershed Research Paper

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The Chesapeake Bay watershed is considered to be the largest estuary in the United States as it covers six states and the “entire District of Columbia including Virginia, Maryland, the, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York. An estuary is defined as bodies of water where fresh and salty seawater mix” (USDA). The Chesapeake Bay measures to be about 64,000 square miles in length and is considered home to five major rivers in the world. This includes the James, York, Potomac, Susquehanna, and the Rappahannock rivers. (Chesapeake Bay Foundation) According to the Chesapeake Bay Program, “many people tend to believe the history of the watershed began during the establishment of Jamestown in 1607” (Chesapeake Bay Program). However, …show more content…
While nitrogen and phosphorous is common in the Chesapeake Bay, it has been steadily increasing over the last few decades. According to the EPA, “prior to substantial human activity in the region, most nitrogen and phosphorous was absorbed or retained by the natural forest and wetland vegetation” (EPA). As more vegetation is being cut down and replaced by farms and cities, the amount of these compounds is increasing and it’s raising concerns over water quality. Since it’s affecting the water quality, it is affecting the lives of the species living around it such as the fish and the …show more content…
As the temperatures increases, so does the watershed. When water gets warmer, it holds less oxygen. If there is less oxygen, it could kill aquatic life. According to the Bay’s program, “as water levels rise, so will coastal flooding and erosion. Marshes and wetlands will be inundated with saltwater and will disappear faster than wetland plants can populate higher ground” (Chesapeake Bay Foundation). The most obvious effect of water pollution on future generations is the rise in deaths. If our water is not purified to a certain standard, it can kill us. Since various strains of bacteria could get into our water supply, the future generation would have to pay extra money just to remove it and that can be expensive. However, not all strains are harmful to humans as some contaminants might be used to enhance flavor. For example, in Dasani water bottles, the bottle lists Magnesium sulfate and potassium chloride as minerals used to enhance flavor by reverse osmosis.
Air pollution can also be hazardous to the people living around the watershed because the longer they inhale the contaminants, the bigger effect it will have on their health. For example, if someone suffers from asthma, they will have a harder time breathing because the contaminants will aggravate their lungs. It can lead to future health problems even for a healthy person and it will eventually kill them as

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