GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. (AP) - Researchers say the total amount of oxygen-deprived dead zones in Chesapeake Bay this summer was the worst since 2014.
In June, federal scientists predicted a bigger-than-average oxygen-deprived zone. It turns out they were correct.
Researchers with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science who study bay hypoxia said Monday that the total amount of dead zones this summer increased by 10 percent over last year. The increase came despite a drop in the overall duration and maximum extent of dead zones compared with 2016.
The institute has used a real-time, three-dimensional forecast model since 2014 to gauge various hypoxia metrics in the bay. Researchers estimated there were 919 cubic kilometers of hypoxia during 2017. That's larger than the 833 cubic kilometers in 2016, 757 cubic kilometers in 2015 and 918 cubic kilometers in 2014.