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Heavy rains, snowmelt may affect Bay health

The heavy rainstorms of mid-March resulted in more than 3 inches of rain across much of Maryland and, if wet weather continues, may result in less underwater grasses, an increase in algae blooms and early onset of dead zones in Chesapeake Bay, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, which is monitoring the water quality for short- or long-term storm-related impacts.

"In addition to the heavy rains, rapidly melting snow cover in western Maryland and Pennsylvania, and saturated soils caused the rain and snowmelt to run off streets, parking lots, buildings, residential yards and farm fields, filling neighborhood storm-water facilities and downstream culverts, small creeks and wetlands," said Tom Parham, director of DNR's Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment.

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