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Part of the Ecology Disrupted Curriculum Collection.
Download the files below to use offline, or to incorporate into your own lesson planning tools.
This part of the activity asks students to summarize what they learned from analyzing historic and present day food webs and data on historic and present day oyster catch and nutrient levels. Students summarize how fishing has changed the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. They should cite the decline of most major species. They also recognize that although most species are fewer in number than they were before fishing, they are still present today, which provides an opportunity to rehabilitate the ecosystem.
Ask the students to summarize the role of declining oysters in the Bay’s dead zones. Without oysters cleaning the water of excess nutrients (fertilizer, manure, and sewage), the Bay is overrun with nutrients leading to algal blooms and dead zones.
The final question on the summary worksheet asks students about the importance of analyzing historic data and the role of historic baselines. Use the discussion of historic baselines to lead into the videos about the Chesapeake Bay.