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The Chesapeake Bay and Global Warming: A Paradise Lost for Hunters, Anglers, and Outdoor Enthusiasts?

  • Patty Glick, Amanda Staudt, Doug Inkley
  • Sep 25, 2007

Global warming is causing major changes to natural systems today. Around the world, countries and communities are feeling the effects and searching for the right responses. This report focuses on the very real threat that global warming poses for fish and wildlife in the Chesapeake Bay region. The report synthesizes recent scientific studies and observations from the field to offer a blueprint for action to overcome the problems spawned by global warming.

The report finds that fish and wildlife in the Chesapeake Bay region will be directly affected by several climate changes that are already underway:

  • Warmer air and water in the Chesapeake Bay region 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. The bottom line is that these changes to natural habitats in the Chesapeake Bay region put treasured outdoor traditions—from sportfishing and waterfowl hunting to clamming and lazy days on the beach—at great risk.

The bottom line is that these changes to natural habitats in the Chesapeake Bay region put treasured outdoor traditions—from sportfishing and waterfowl hunting to clamming and lazy days on the beach—at great risk.


Learn more:

The Chesapeake Bay and Global Warming

This report focuses on the very real threat that global warming poses for fish and wildlife in the Chesapeake Bay region. The report synthesizes recent scientific studies and observations from the field to offer a blueprint for action to overcome the problems spawned by global warming.

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