Oyster Reefs: The Destruction Of The Chesapeake Bay

335 Words 2 Pages
On the east coast of Virginia lies the Chesapeake Bay, is a 200-mile estuary that stretches from Havre De Grace Maryland to Norfolk Virginia with its own very unique and delicate ecosystem. One ongoing issue that faces the Bay is the harvesting of the oyster reefs. 1 Oysters are natural filters and one oyster can filter an average of 50 gallons of water a day. In this delicate ecosystem oysters offers habitat and food to other sea creatures. The oyster industry has played an important role in the economy of the region as well (Chesapeake Bay Program, 2016). The problem with oyster farming is that the reefs have become over harvested and are becoming depleted. Without the oysters to help filter the waters, pollution becomes a greater issue which leads to the destruction of the Bay’s ecosystem. …show more content…
Farmers have removed huge amount of oysters from the reefs which is leading to poor health throughout the Chesapeake Bay. In the 1850s over 1.5 million bushels were harvested yearly but three centuries later that number jumped to over 20 million. By the twentieth century the Chesapeake Bay had become one of the United States’ largest oyster fishery (Chesapeake Bay Program, 2016). The supply and demand needs of the economy is what drives the fisheries to harvest larger and larger amount, which in turns is destroying the oyster

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