As Susquehanna Nears Sediment Capacity, Chesapeake Bay Likely to Suffer

The Susquehanna is a mighty river in the northeastern United States which feeds into the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The river meanders through the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania and into upstate New York. It is the longest river on the American east coast which drains into the Atlantic, and its watershed is the 16th largest in the country (27,500 square miles / 71,000 square km). The Susquehanna River carries sediment and runoff from the wilderness and farmlands of Pennsylvania and New York, and deposits them into the Chesapeake. However, too much nutrient runoff is a bad thing for the Bay ecosystem, so dams have been constructed to trap the sediment. A new report from the USGS found that the reservoirs behind those dams have reached their sediment capacity, with potentially disastrous consequence for the Bay.

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