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Beth McGee Blue Planet Forum Presentation


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Ecological Effects of Climate Change on the Chesapeake Bay

Published in: Environment
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Beth McGee Blue Planet Forum Presentation

  1. 1. Ecological Effects of Climate Change on the Chesapeake Bay Beth McGee Director of Science & Agricultural Policy Blue Planet Forum April 25, 2017
  2. 2. Climate Change and the Bay Increased frequency and intensity of storms More flooding Increased loads of pollutants
  3. 3. Climate change …and may also increase droughts From USGS VA Water Science Center
  4. 4. Rising temperatures 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 13 13.5 14 14.5 15 15.5 16 16.5 17 17.5 18 year Temperature(C) VIMS pier CBL pier Mean annual water temperature at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (mid-bay) and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (lower-bay)
  5. 5. Species that are already stressed by high summer temperatures may be greatly reduced or eliminated. Dense eelgrass beds – June 2005 Bare, unvegetated sand – December 2005 Species’ shifts
  6. 6. Warm water holds less oxygen
  7. 7. Sea level rise Coastal flooding, disappearing islands and marsh 1989 Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge 1938 1957 Climate Change and the Bay
  8. 8. Sea Level Rise Over Last 30-40 yrs GSLR ~1.75 mm/yr or 0.6 ft/century more than 3x the global average
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Sea Level Rise in the Future
  11. 11. Multiple benefits of pollution reduction efforts On a more optimistic note... Implementing the practices in VA’s Bay clean up plan will reduce GHG emissions and increase resiliency
  12. 12. Multiple benefits • Filter pollutants • Reduce GHG • Reduce flooding • Reduces “heat island” effect Green Infrastructure
  13. 13. The End Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act (HR 3852/S 1816) • Adopts the Bay TMDL and requirements for watershed implementation plans • Establishes consequences for failing to develop adequate plans or implement them • Creates a federal minimum standard for controlling stormwater runoff • Authorizes over $ 2 billion to help meet the pollution reduction goals • Creates a watershed-wide nutrient trading program THANK YOU!