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Dredging the Conowingo Dam

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Chesapeake Bay Program
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Flickr via Creative Commons

Millions of tons of sediment are trapped behind the Conowingo Dam. It can’t hold more, so Governor Hogan has called for a test of dredging some of the sediment. Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles explains how the state plans to work with Chesapeake watershed partners --and Exelon which operates the dam--to pay for the project, while finding new uses for the sediment. 

Also trapped by the dam are nutrients from runoff, like phosphorous and nitrogen. The Bay Journal’s Tim Wheeler says sediment causes harm by clouding the water and smothering oysters, but the nutrient burden travels farther down the Bay, causing algae blooms and dead zones.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.