The front page of yesterday's Daily Press had an article on algae and the Chesapeake Bay.
"The normally blue-green waters are awash in cranberry-colored stains that, scientists say, indicate the bay still has serious pollution problems."
According to the article, if the algae is dense enough it creates dead zones--areas depleted of oxygen--which can kill baby oysters and crabs, among other things.
"'It's an indication that the bay's water quality is out of balance,' said Christy Everett, Hampton Roads director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the elder statesman of a growing number of bay advocacy groups."
A combination of warm water and dense nutrients from storm water runoff creates the perfect environment for the algae to thrive. The runoff dumps fresh water laden with things such as fertilizer and animal waste, which create nitrogen and phosphorus. As the water cools, the algae dies and sinks to the bottom.
"As it decomposes, it consumes oxygen while sinking to the sea floor."
My father recently took a boat ride for the first time in many years. He was astounded at all of the new homes along the water. It's nearly impossible to find a patch of waterfront that hasn't been cleared.
Although I am in no way, shape or form fit to discuss science on any level, I have made some general observations over the years. The water in our creek has definitely changed over time--it's darker, murkier. What that is from I cannot say, I just know it's different.
Over time different forms of wildlife have come and gone on our creek. When I was a kid, mallard ducks and muskrats were everywhere; now we're lucky if we see any. Canada geese? We never had them 20 years ago. Now they come here in throngs
I could go on and on but my point is this: What sort of algae do I need to buy to create an oxygen-deprived dead zone in the hopes of keeping Gustav the Goose from leading his Canadian friends into my yard?
For more information on the state of the bay, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's site.
For more information on Gustav and his antics, check out his Facebook page.