A Bay Going Bad This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


      For years the Chesapeake Bay was a wonderful andmajestic place. Over time, however, it has become polluted and gradually gottensmaller. If drastic procedures are not taken, its health will continue todecline. The bay is the large body of water that separates the Delmarva Peninsulafrom Maryland. It looks good on the surface, but deep down there areproblems.

For years fish have slowly been killed by chemicals. Now, somespecies are so threatened they can no longer be fished, which has made fishermenlose money or forced them to fish elsewhere. Fish are not the only onessuffering. The oyster population has dropped to only two percent of its originalpopulation. This decrease has occurred in many of the species that live in thisarea.

Why is this happening? There are many reasons, but the main one isthe runoff of toxic chemicals and fertilizers. Another leading cause is autoemissions. These chemicals seep into the water and land, killing fish and plants.If something is not done, the land and water will waste away until the entirearea is no longer the beautiful place it was, but instead a murky and deadarea.

Along with the water, many problems are occurring on land. More than60 percent of wetlands surrounding the bay have disappeared, and 50 percent ofthe forests are gone, too. Every year the Chesapeake Bay area loses about 90,000acres of open space. The last major problem is that 90 percent of the underwatersea grass no longer grows. Many animals use this area to hide or eat, and withsea grass disappearing, these creatures are losing their homes.

TheChesapeake Bay needs help, and is getting it. Many groups have been founded toget the bay's health back to a better level. One project to rebuild the bay issetting up protected areas where oysters can grow and multiply. The ChesapeakeBay area is in very bad shape, but there is hope. Nature just needs our help.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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