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What Role Can Oysters Play to Help Improve Water Quality?
Conditions in Georgica Pond can vary from year to year, depending in part on how long it is open to the ocean. The trustees typically open a cut to the ocean in spring and fall. It closes naturally, though how long it remains open impacts the pond’s salinity.

Residents are concerned with the pond's ecology; it has seen blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, in the last several summers.

With the experimental introduction of oysters, which can filter 50 gallons of water daily, residents hope they will improve water clarity and reduce the intensity and prevalence of harmful algal blooms.  In large numbers, they can also control phytoplankton abundance and improve water clarity, which helps fuel the growth of sea grasses, important habitat for invertebrates and fish.

The aquatic weed harvester was not employed last year but removed 93,140 pounds of aquatic macrophytes in 2018, a substantial increase over the prior two years, due in part to the increased growth of sea grasses.

 
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Underwater Grass Beds Maintain Health - An expansive bed of underwater grass at the mouth of the Susquehanna River has proven it is able to "take a licking and keep on ticking." A recent study has found that the submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) bed at Susquehanna Flats, which only recently made a comeback in the Chesapeake Bay, was not only able to survive a barrage of rough storms and flooding, but it has proven a natural ability to protect and maintain itself.


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