phosphate pollution


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  • Phosphorus has always been a part of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, but has increased to excessive levels over the last few decades. 
  • Prior to substantial human activity in the region, most phosphorus was absorbed or retained by natural forest and wetland vegetation.
  • Yet, the activities of over 13.6 million people in the watershed have overwhelmed the Chesapeake Bay with excess amounts of nutrients.
  • phosphorus can come from a wide range of point and nonpoint sources, including sewage treatment plants, industrial facilities, agricultural fields, lawns, and the atmosphere.
  • As forests and wetlands have been replaced by farms, cities, and suburbs to accommodate a growing population, nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to the Chesapeake Bay has greatly increased.
  • Poor water quality has negatively affected important species such as submerged bay grasses, blue crab, oysters, and fish species.
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