Phosphates in the Bay

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  • Hey guys! I'm here at the Chesapeake Bay. It may look beautiful on the outside, but a closer look reveals excessive inputs of nutrients that are very harmful to these waters.
  • Phosphate is a harmful excess nutrient in the Chesapeake Bay along with many others. One of the leading causes of the excessive input of nutrients is agricultural runoff, which is from fertilizers used on crops at farms.
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  • Some ways Phosphate enters the Bay are runoff from fertilizers used on people's lawns and crops, cow manure that contains harmful nutrients , and the septic system that runs into the Bay. Also, air pollution from cars, trucks, and industries contribute to the input of nutrients that pollutes the waters.
  • The nutrients help form harmful algae blooms. These algae blooms block out sunlight from reaching grass underwater. This forms oxygen depleted "dead zones" which take the oxygen out of water and suffocate marine life, ultimately leading to ecosystem failure.
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  • There are also economic costs to Phosphates in the Bay. In MD, the flush tax is $60 per year for flushing the toilet due to pollution caused to the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland spends millions of dollars to help protect the Chesapeake Bay each year.
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  • By: Conor Shields
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