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Oyster aquaculture could significantly improve Potomac River estuary water quality
Date:4/9/2014

algal blooms in the upper estuary, and continued regrowth of seagrasses.

While scientists have seen signs of improvement, they remain concerned with eutrophication. Dissolved oxygen, a key measure of water quality, is something fish and other aquatic species can't survive without.

Atmospheric deposition where gases and particles are released into the atmosphere from combustion of fossil fuels and return to the land as contaminants also plays a role in polluting the estuary.

"Less attention has been paid to monitoring the effects of atmospheric deposition in headwater streams now that acidic emissions have declined because of the Clean Air Act and Amendments going into effect," said Karen Rice, Ph.D., USGS research hydrologist. "Nevertheless, monitoring of forested, headwater streams that reflect changes in atmospheric inputs should be continued, if not expanded, so that changes in stream-water quality as related to atmospheric deposition can be tracked."

The researchers believe the results of the study may be useful on a broad basis, as there are other river-dominated estuaries in the Chesapeake region and elsewhere along the U.S. coastline that could support shellfish aquaculture.


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Contact: Ben Sherman
Ben.Sherman@noaa.gov
301-713-3066
NOAA Headquarters
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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