HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Chesapeake Bay office said this summer was “favorable” for species in the Chesapeake Bay.
NOAA uses a buoy system to track data in the bay. One of the buoys is located in the York Spit.
The agency looks at conditions such as temperatures and how salty the water is each season and looks at the key takeaways.
Bruce Vogt, an NOAA ecosystem science manager, said this summer’s results were good.
The Chesapeake Bay experienced cooler than average water temperatures, according to the report, which is great for striped bass and eelgrass.
“The fact that water temperatures were a little bit below the average over the past two decades, as we indicate in the summary, means the conditions were better for fish and other species like crabs and oysters,” Vogt said.
The report also said fish communities didn’t experience significant hypoxic events. That means low oxygen in the water, which hurts marine life.
“More area of the higher level of oxygen means they had more habitat available to them,” he said.
Vogt said there is still concern for the bay despite the positive data.
“It may have been lower than average this summer,” he said. “It doesn’t mean it’ll be the case next summer.”
He said temperatures are projected to increase and oxygen levels will continue to be a challenge to manage.
“There is still more to be done,” Vogt said.
NOAA is constantly working to make sure the water is clean and bad nutrients stay out of the bay so species can thrive.