Decreasing Ecosystems In Chesapeake Bay - Guttman Community College/ Biology - Research Paper

2613 words - 11 pages

Yamilex Burgos & Anisa Owens  
Biology 221 
Dr. Fuller   
Owens & Burgos
Humans have been an essential factor in destroying ecosystems known to earth. Not only
have they been interfering with other organisms habitat, but they have been decreasing
organisms in number. For instance, at one point in time many oysters were able to have been
caught in Chesapeake Bay however, today they have decreased substantially in number.
Additionally due to human impact not only has the water quality diminished but nutrient
levels within the water have skyrocketed reaching unhealthy levels. Thus causing a harmful
environment for organisms. ​Dead zones are low ​oxygenated parts of the oceans and/or lakes
unable to maintain the required oxygen levels needed to support most marine life, very little
organisms are capable of surviving in such hypoxic environments. Human activities are
what causes these negatives effects to occur, from agricultural traditions to overfishing
oysters. They lead to a process called “eutrophication”, an increase of nutrients, such as
nitrogen and phosphorus, which causes an overgrowth of floating algae, leaving seagrass
incapable of receiving sunlight to produce oxygen. Also an increase in microbes
contaminates the water with fatal toxins thus, creating a dead zone. Based on the
information provided from the pre and post fishing ecosystems there are considerable
distinctive variations between the trophic levels revealing that the human existence or their
development of tools and equipments have altered and reshaped earths marine ecosystems
inadequately. Ultimately, further ecosystems and ones to come can be destroyed with
additional human discoveries. Filter feeders hold a significant responsibility in estuarine
ecosystems by balancing the nutrient runoff from the shoreline to the waters recommended
Owens & Burgos
nutrients level, maintaining a proper salt level and, filtering the water by intaking the surplus
nitrogens and other unwanted pollution. ​Chesapeake Bay has changed ultimately compared
to how it used to be in its beginning days. As stated before humans are the main reason as to
why things have been going downhill for the last 300 years plus. Fortunately Chesapeake
Bay community members as well as political parties have stepped in to try and restore the
estuary to healthy levels again. ​Since 1983, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) partnership
has agreed to abide by rules to guide the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. These goals that
have been set in place and even tracking programs have been positioned to hold partners
accountable for their work in progress. Amongst these movements to restore the Bay new
agreements will be developed over time. Specifically, the purpose of this study is to:
1. Compare the given data from the past ecosystem without humans, to the present
ecosystem with humans and identify any problems it may have caused within the
marine ecosystems.
2. Determine what methods could be used...

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