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Cinema Bayville

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Transcripts of Cinema Bayville movies

Past, Present, and Future

Chesapeake Past, Chesapeake Future, Part 5

Voices on boat: I've got the tube. You've got to come up. Beautiful. I think we've done got a good one. Oh, now that's a core!

Narrator: Walter Boynton, an estuarine ecologist, who has been studying the Bay for most of his career, believes more needs to be done to clean up, not only the Susquehanna, but many of the other major tributaries as well. He and his research team are extracting cores of sediment from some of the river bottoms to see how much nitrogen and phosphorous is being released.

Walter Boynton: Well, over the last 50 years, we're pretty sure that the nutrient load, that is, the load of nitrogen and phosphorus to the Bay, has increased very substantially, by a factor of 2, 3. In some areas of the Bay by a lot more than that. And the response of the Bay to this is, that first the sea grasses have died. Back in the 1950s and early 1960s there was around 400,000 acres of sea grass. At the present time, there is somewhere between 10 and 20% of that.

Narrator: Sea grasses have been called the miner's canary of the Chesapeake, sounding the alarm that danger is near. They provide habitat for small fish and crabs. They're also important shoreline buffers. Without them, scientists fear the Bay's health cannot improve.


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