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Eroding the Chesapeake Bay

As more people move into the Chesapeake Bay watershed, development of new homes, roads, and businesses continues. We are choosing to move away from city centers and live in bigger houses on larger lots, causing wetlands, forests, and other valuable lands to be transformed into subdivisions, shopping centers, and parking lots-severely impacting the health of the Bay.

Development has been the largest cause of forestland clearing over the past 20 years. Where they used to cover 95% of the Bay watershed, forests now cover only 58%. Clear, exposed land is especially prone to erosion. The excess sediment clouds the water, reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches Bay grasses. Without enough sunlight, these underwater grasses are not able to grow and provide habitats for young fish, blue crabs, and other important Bay life.

In the Bay watershed, river basins with the highest percentage of agricultural lands yield the highest overall amount of sediment annually, while basins with the highest percentage of forest cover yield the lowest amount of sediment. However, on a per-acre basis, construction sites contribute the most sediment of all land uses-as much as 10 to 20 times that of agricultural lands. As forests and wetlands are being destroyed to make room for roads and buildings, their ability to stabilize soils and the important habitat they offer are lost as well.

The restoration of the Chesapeake Bay depends on us citizens to do our part. To better understand the importance of studying the Bay, we need to be more involved. Maintaining a healthy lawn, planting gardens, and reseeding bare areas are all easy ways to conserve soil. By doing all we can to prevent erosion, we can not only save the Bay, but also conquer a challenge as a community.



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This article has 21 comments. Post your own!

Oh_My_Buda said...
Mar. 29, 2010 at 8:18 am:
I use to go there during the summer but then it just changed.  We dont go there anymore but if it got cleaned up I would love to go back.
 
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kellyisgr8 said...
Jan. 30, 2010 at 12:09 pm:
this inspires me
 
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liddle_countrygirl said...
Jan. 29, 2010 at 12:43 pm:
nice job! :D :P :)
 
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kindyxkandy said...
Jan. 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm:
Great Article, especially for those of us in Virginia :)
 
9CatsPerLife101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 23, 2010 at 10:18 am :
lol yay virginians!
 
AHHH replied...
Mar. 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm :
omg me same!
 
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xXLilyXx said...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 6:18 pm:
I think this is somethign really special.
 
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ChocolateCherryKiss said...
Jan. 19, 2010 at 9:31 pm:
This is so important to me and it shoulkd be to everyone else!
 
9CatsPerLife101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm :
*high fives* spot on
 
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candybar2008 said...
Jan. 19, 2010 at 6:51 pm:
i live somewhat near the chesapeake and let me tell you if ppl would stop polluting it, it would be amazign gorgeous beautiful and not just beatiful.
 
9CatsPerLife101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm :
i 100% agree...though the bay still is beautiful you can definitely tell the places where it is deteriorating.
 
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HorsesCANfly21 said...
Jan. 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm:
keep the bay healthy. in fact keep everything healthy. i appreciate your work.
 
9CatsPerLife101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm :
thanks! and i agree
 
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FudgeMuffins95 said...
Jan. 7, 2010 at 9:48 pm:
I hate erosion. ><
 
9CatsPerLife101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm :
me too :-/
 
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SuperGRL111 said...
Jan. 7, 2010 at 9:44 pm:
This means a lot to me since i live in the Chesapeake watershed and it's true the chesapeake is in horrible condition.
 
9CatsPerLife101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm :
im so pleased it means something to you. I live in the bay watershed too, and it's something that is very vital to me.
 
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MysticMagic said...
Jan. 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm:
Another gr8 work from you.
 
9CatsPerLife101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm :
love that you've read my other pieces ;]
 
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hillaryliu said...
Dec. 30, 2009 at 2:02 pm:
I feel for the Chesapeake as well. Keep up the good work!
 
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