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The Chesapeake Bay and Global Warming
The National Wildlife Federation just released a report on the impacts of global warming on one of America’s most cherished regions, “The Chesapeake Bay and Global Warming: A Paradise Lost for Hunters, Anglers and Outdoor Enthusiasts?”
The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure for hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts. But this could be a paradise lost due to global warming, which poses a very real threat for fish and wildlife in the Chesapeake Bay region.
Over the past quarter century, billions of dollars have been invested in restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These major investments could be lost due to global warming.
Fish and wildlife are being affected by climate changes:
- Warmer air and water will alter the composition of species that can live in the bay, contribute to worsening dead zones and harmful algal blooms, enhance marine diseases and encourage expansion of harmful invasive species such as nutria.
- Rapidly rising sea levels will inundate coastal marshes and other important habitats that are important for fish and waterfowl and make coastal property more vulnerable.
- More-extreme weather events, including floods, storms, droughts and heat waves will lead to more polluted runoff into the Chesapeake Bay, hurt water quality, and make the outdoor experience increasingly unacceptable for people.
- Changing climate across North America will affect breeding grounds and migration patterns for waterfowl, such that fewer birds make their way to Chesapeake Bay each year.
Fortunately, there are solutions:
- Reduce global warming pollution and provide new funding for wildlife.
- Expand State Wildlife Action Plans to address global warming.
- Expand state-based funding for Maryland and Virginia conservation activities.
- Adapt waterfowl and fish management practices.
- Discourage extensive coastal development and armoring of shorelines.
- Account for global warming in land conservation and habitat protection efforts.
- Redouble efforts to manage storm-water runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.
Do you know of any other solutions? What do you think about the report?