Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in Chesapeake Bay
Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is critical to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Eelgrass (Zostera maritima) and other underwater plants form seagrass “meadows” in the Bay that support a wide variety of algae, bacteria and protozoans that are food for snails, worms and other invertebrates. These invertebrates, in turn, form the base of the food chain for fish and larger animals. Think of SAV meadows as the pantry that feeds the Chesapeake Bay.
Viewer Tip: Nitrogen and phosphorus that are common fertilizers promote algae growth and low-oxygen “dead zones” that kill seagrasses. Summertime may mean that you want a lush lawn, plants and flowers, but fertilize in moderation, if at all. Always wait for dry weather to make sure that fertilizers stay in your yard instead of being carried away with rain water. Want your lawn and flowers to look good without fertilizer? Consider composting lawn cuttings and other plant and organic debris for use as natural fertilizers!
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This information is provided by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Learn more at www.cbf.org.