Looking for Light
September 2008 • Volume 7, Number 3
measuring water turbidity

Every year, resource managers watch measurements of water clarity worsen. What’s driving this decline? What, they ask, is snuffing out the light in the Bay? Sediment is one suspect, a prime suspect. The research of two scientists aims to understand just how significant its role might be. more . . .

graph - water clarity

It's not much more than a plastic circle attached to the end of a rope. But despite its humble structure, the Secchi disk holds its own among oceanographic instruments. more . . .

Sediment comes in different sizes and shapes. Some of it is sticky, some of it sinks, some of it floats. What part do these properties play in the Bay's declining water quality? more . . .

Keala Cummings endured sweltering temperatures, wading through mud, and the stings of cutting grass to research how plants in a freshwater marsh capture sediment. more . . .

sediment in left image algae in right image

Clear waters of spring wade-in darken over the summer.

Turbidity is only one of the complicated issues that face the Chesapeake Bay. Blue crabs. Oysters. Sprawl. Restoring urban environments. Visit our BayBlog and join us in an on-going conversation

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We gratefully acknowledge support for Chesapeake Quarterly from the Chesapeake Bay Trust for 2008.

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