One-third of the Chesapeake Bay is a dead zone this year. The Washington Post reports:

Especially heavy flows of tainted water from the Susquehanna River brought as much nutrient pollution into the bay by May as normally comes in an entire average year, a Maryland Department of Natural Resources researcher said. As a result, “in Maryland we saw the worst June” ever for nutrient pollution, said Bruce Michael, director of the DNR’s resource assessment service.

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The dead zone could grow to be the largest ever. The way it works is that farm runoff leads to a bumper crop of bay algae, which love the stuff. They grow quickly, die quickly and "decompose into a black glop that sucks oxygen out of deeper waters." No oxygen means dead fish, dead oysters, and dead crabs.

Fixing the situation will require billions of dollars and a win against powerful farm lobbies that don't want to bear the cost of their nasty farming practices. So mid-Atlantic residents should probably just get their local seafood fix while the getting is still kind of good; who knows how much longer we have until the Chesapeake Bay becomes the Chesapeake Expanse of Black Glop?

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