Ecosytem Task 2 WGU

Topics: Chesapeake Bay, Water, Virginia Pages: 5 (507 words) Published: November 23, 2013
Systems of Natural Science
114.2.3 Ecosystems

Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem
(Taylor & Allen)

• The Bay is approx. 200
miles long, from Havre
de Grace, Maryland to
Virginia Beach, Virginia
• The Bay's width ranges
from 4 miles near
Aberdeen, Maryland, to
30 miles near Cape
Charles, Virginia

Major Components
Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem
Biotic Components
(Living)








350 species of fish
Crabs
Shellfish
Birds
Mammals
Reptiles and Amphibians
(Bay stat)

Abiotic Components
(Non-living)







Water Quality
Sunlight
Weather
Soil
Air (pollution)

Current Human Impact on
Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem
Air Pollution


Vehicles, industries, power plants, gas-powered
lawn tools, and farm operations:



Almost one third of the nitrogen that pollutes the
Bay and its rivers comes from the air



Pollution from a very large geographic area can
eventually wind up in the Bay



Air and water pollution are not separate problems.
There is a close link between the health of our air
and the health of our water

Water Quality
 Fertilizers, waste water and vehicle
emissions:
Increased nitrogen and phosphorus fuels
unnaturally high algae growth in the water



Algae turns color of the water brownish or
greenish - blocking sunlight from reaching
underwater grasses



When algae die they are decomposed by
bacteria that consume the oxygen needed
by other aquatic creatures in the bay


(Bay stat)



Without enough oxygen dissolved in the
water, aquatic creatures like fish, blue
crabs and oysters become stressed or even
die.

Current Human Impact on
Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem
 Over Harvesting of Oysters
• Harms local economy (catch, sale, shucking, packing and shipping) •


Since late 19th century contributed millions of dollars
Was Bay’s most valuable commercial fisheries

• Demise of Bay’s healthy oyster reefs



Offers less surface area for reef-dwelling invertebrates
Impacts larger fish, blue crabs

• Late 19th century Native Bay Oysters could filter volume of entire Bay every three – four days


Today’s depleted population takes almost a year

("Facts & Figures - Chesapeake Bay Program", n.d.)

Future Impact on Chesapeake Bay
Ecosystem
• Extinction or severe decline of native species





Invasion of non-native species
Pollution and habitat alteration
Habitat loss and fragmentation
Less stable and/or less valuable, hospitable, and
desirable for humans as food and material resources
• Less places for recreation
(Duffy)

Guidelines on How to Assist in Preserving
the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem
• Reduce, eliminate or utilize natural fertilizers for our lawns • Conserve water usage
– direct rainwater from roofs, sidewalks and parking lots into rain barrels or rain gardens – reduce pressure on aging storm water infrastructure






Reduce use of vehicles reduces air pollution
Limit crabbing
Re-introduce Oysters
Green Roofs
– Large commercial and institutional properties, absorb rain so it doesn’t need to be discharged to a concrete system that is expensive to build and maintain. – Increases the life of roofing systems, provides insulation, reduces heating and cooling

(Bay stats)

References
Duffy, J. E. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.vims.edu/research/units/programs/icccr/_docs/coastal n.a. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.baystat.maryland.gov/sources.html (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/bay101/facts Taylor, V., & Allen, P. (Map). Retrieved from http://www.chesapeakebaysampler.com/map.htm



References: Duffy, J. E. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.vims.edu/research/units/programs/icccr/_docs/coastal
n.a. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.baystat.maryland.gov/sources.html
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/bay101/facts
Taylor, V., & Allen, P. (Map). Retrieved from http://www.chesapeakebaysampler.com/map.htm
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