MARCH 2018 
Seagrass comeback heralds Chesapeake restoration success

A major new study confirms that the recent resurgence of underwater grasses that haven't been seen for 40 years are the direct result of decades of efforts to reduce nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. 
An analysis of more than 30 years of data shows that sustained management actions over the past two decades have reduced nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake and led to a resurgence of ecologically and economically important aquatic grasses.

"What emerged from that analysis is that this nutrient diet is starting to pay real dividends in the resurgence of grasses around the bay," said Bill Dennison. "We've been calling these grasses our coastal canaries, the things that are most sensitive to water quality degradation, and the things we have to watch as long term indicators of these water quality situations."

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science joins the Chesapeake 10 Billion Oyster Partnership, a multi-year collaborative effort to add 10 billion oysters to the Bay by 2025, as a scientific advisor committed to sound science-based management of the Bay's oyster population.

Global warming and sea level rise is exacerbating coastal flooding, especially during high tides, but Professor Ming Li says how we decide to protect our coasts against rising seas can make the difference between devastation and resilience. For instance, sea walls can actually increase the tidal range, making high tide even higher than it would be without them.

"What you do with coastline management has huge implications in terms of how the tides in Chesapeake Bay respond to sea level rise," said Li. "It's important for local people to pay attention and figure out how can we help each other."

Professor Mark Cochrane has been studying the characteristics and behaviors of wildfires since graduate school. Listen in as he discusses how wildfires differ across regions, which places are more prone to fires than others, and why climate change will make them a more common occurrence. 

NEXT GENERATION: Graduate student Kevin Kahover on the environmental benefits of restored oyster reefs

"This research will be used to predict how recent oyster reef restoration projects in the Chesapeake Bay will influence local water clarity, ammonia production, and overall nitrogen removal. Understanding how these parameters are affected by oyster reefs allows us to predict what environmental benefits we can expect to see from constructing oyster reefs (apart from simply increasing local oyster populations). The model will also give managers insight into how to build reef to maximize these environmental benefits and ecosystem services."

Watershed Moments: Maryland Biodiversity Project
March 8, 6:30 p.m.
Appalachian Laboratory

Bill Hubick of the Maryland Biodiversity Project will share breathtaking nature photographs and stories about the Project's efforts to catalog the plants and animals of Maryland as part of the Appalachian Laboratory's Watershed Moments Community Learning SeriesMORE
Film Preview: 
High Tide in  Dorchester
March 9, 6:00 p.m.
447 Venue, Cambridge

The Horn Point Laboratory and Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth host a special community preview of the one-hour documentary "High Tide in Dorchester" that looks at the impact of rising sea levels on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with the filmmakers Tom Horton, Sandy Cannon-Brown, and Dave Harp. $ MORE

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Appalachian Laboratory * Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
Horn Point Laboratory *
Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology
Integration and Application Network * Maryland Sea Grant