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Project Reef Combatting Chesapeake Bay Eutrophication Nonprofit Organization & Mission: Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Annapolis, MD () Save the Bay™, and keep it saved, as defined by reaching a 70 on CBF's Health Index. Student Contact Information: XXXXX, UID: XXXX ([email protected]) Junior; XXXXXX Major, XXXX Minor XXXXXX, UID: XXXXXX ([email protected]) Junior; XXXXXX Major, XXXX Minor XXXXX, UID: XXXXX ([email protected]) Sophomore; XXXXXX Major, XXXX Minor XXXXX, UID: XXXXX0 ([email protected]) Junior; XXXX Major, XXXXX Goal: Project Reef will attempt to reduce the ongoing eutrophication occurring in the Chesapeake Bay through the establishment and revitalization of natural and artificial oyster reefs, a keystone species involved in the filtration and reduction of harmful aquatic nutrients. Project Location: Wicomico River, Maryland, North of Wicomico Oyster Sanctuary, Latitude - Longitude: 38.286218,-76.811945 et ut Lat: 38° 17' 10.3842", Long: -76° 48' 43.0014" Grant Amount Requested: $2.0 million Projected Start Date: June 1, 2016 Projected Completion Date: March 8, 2022 Keywords: Maryland, Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Wicomico River, Wicomico County, Eutrophication, Oyster Reef, Marine, Estuary Restoration, Oyster Restoration
P a g e | 1 Executive Summary: In May 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13508, “Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration.” The executive order called for a large scale restoration of tributary oyster population. Our project is to come up with realistic solutions on how to save the Chesapeake Bay. Due to the Chesapeake’s large size, there are many points of concern when it comes topollution and the negative effects it is causing in the Chesapeake. Negative impacts such as the declining number of the oyster population. There are many point and non-point sources that pollute the bay. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, states that these non-point include the many agricultural sites that are located within Maryland and surrounding states, factories, sewage pipes, and storm water runoff from residential lawns. For a solution we propose to reduce nutrient levels in the bay by implementing synthetic oyster reefs. Oyster reefs, and the oysters that live within these reefs, used to dominate the Chesapeake, but after hundreds years of overfishing, poor conditions, and mal fishing methods such as bottom trawling, have contributed to the dramatic population decline. These oysters have a large impact on the health of the aquatic ecosystem due to the fact that they are natural filters. The oysters in the Bay could once “filter a volume of water equal to that of the entire Bay (about 19 trillion gallons) in a week.”(cbf.org, 2016) Today, it would take the remaining Bay oysters more than a year. Oysters are filter feeders, consuming phytoplankton (free-swimming algae), reducing sediment levels, decreasing temperature, and improving water quality while they filter their food from the water - all of which increase eutrophication levels. The diagram below, taken from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, outlines the critical role that oysters have in the bay. By implementing