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Trawling for Trash in the Chesapeake Bay
Sailing down the Rhode River along Maryland’s Western Shore is certainly a blissful way to wring one more day out of the long Labor Day weekend. Unlike other boaters out on the water, Julie Lawson was looking for trouble. She finds it everywhere she looks on the bay, though it’s nearly invisible to anyone else: plastic. In particular, particulate plastic.

Plastic detritus can be found throughout the Chesapeake Bay, especially in its underwater grasses. That’s a problem for several reasons. The bay’s underwater grasses, also known as submerged aquatic vegetation, represent a vital part of the estuary ecosystem (not to mention Maryland’s economy). Grass beds provide shelter for fish and crabs, stabilize the shoreline against erosion, and absorb nutrients from and return oxygen to the water.

Take a sample from the surface waters near the shallow shelves where underwater grasses grow, and you’ll find more plastic than you might expect.


 
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Lake George Association Wins National Invasive Species Award - The Lake George Association recently learned that it was this year’s recipient of the National Invasive Species Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement in Invasive Species Outreach and Education. The award is one of a few presented each year during National Invasive Species Awareness Week by the National Invasive Species Council, the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and the Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds.


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