Fewer Jellyfish in the Chesapeake

Monday, Jul 25, 2011  |  Updated 1:46 PM EDT
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Swimmers in the Chesapeake Bay will be soothed by this news - there are fewer jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay this year.

In fact, at Sandy Point beach near Annapolis, the count is zero, according to the Capitol.  Park rangers there tell the paper that by now, jellyfish sightings and jellyfish stings are common following July 4.

A researcher with the University of Maryland, Mary Sexton, said that the jellyfish-less waters may be due to several factors.

Salinity in the Chesapeake Bay is lower now than average.  Historically, the water salinity level is 9.01 parts per thousands.  This year, the salinity level is 7.1.

Another factor could be this year's cold winter.  Lower water temperatures caused by this year's harsher winter may have slowed the jellyfish development, meaning fewer mature jellyfish in the water now.

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