Stirring Up the Chesapeake's Cradle of Life

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Science  10 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5374, pp. 196-197
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5374.196

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According to biological modelers, a 16-kilometer-wide eddy near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay creates oases of tiny plants and animals that nourish fish and crustaceans; the area has now joined a list of probable ecological hot spots in the Chesapeake now being studied in a 6-year, $3 million National Science Foundation project called Trophic Interactions in Estuarine Systems. The project is testing the idea that an estuary's physics largely explain why fishery yields in the Chesapeake and other bays are so much higher than in lakes and the open ocean and could ultimately help agencies make better fishery-management decisions.