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Hampton Roads Planning District is committed to providing localities with the best resources, information, and technical assistance related to local water quality.
It demonstrates that reducing nutrient pollution does result in water quality improvement.
But we are a very long way from where we need to be.
Additionally, most of the recent SAV increase is from low– or intermediate-salinity species, while eelgrass — the most critical species in the Lower Bay — continues to decline.
A 2017 paper in the journal Global Change Biology stated, “eelgrass area has declined 29 percent in total since 1991, with wide-ranging and severe ecological and economic consequences.
Many TMDLs, TMDL Implementation Plans, and TMDL Action Plans have been completed for waters located within or partially within the Hampton Roads region; others are under development.
Despite decades of concern, beginning seriously with the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1977, water quality improvement in the Chesapeake Bay after 40 years is disappointingly small.
(See NASA scientists deem Fowler’s wade-in data out of this world, June 2017.) Meanwhile, increased water clarity is unproven.
Volume of the Dead Zone: A 2011 study concluded “Evaluation of a 60-year record of hypoxic volumes demonstrated significant increases in early summer hypoxia (low oxygen), but a slight decrease in late summer hypoxia.” A small decrease in the volume of anoxic water in late summer was confirmed in a 2018 study.
How many people know that conventional chemical fertilization efficiency is typically no better than about 65 percent when the fertilizer is applied at the time of planting?
Fertilizer application should closely match plants’ needs throughout the growth cycle.