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Chesapeake Bay Sediment : Home To Pfiesteria-Like Microbes

October 10, 1997
United States Geological Survey
Analysis of Chesapeake Bay sediment cores collected by the USGS and the University of Maryland CEES indicates that some of the sediment samples dating back hundreds or thousands of years contain Pfiesteria-like organisms.
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The presence of Pfiesteria-like microbes and their effect on aquatic life is a complicated issue requiring knowledge of fish immunology, chemical reactions involving nutrients, stream dynamics, sediment loads, the life cycles of Pfiesteria-like microbes, water temperatures, and otherfactors. The USGS is working with other state and Federal agencies to establish the linkages between these factors and find the cause of the fish lesion/fish kill situation that occurred in the Chesapeake Bay during the summer.

As the nation's largest earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 1,200 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial, scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. Thisinformation is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, contribute to wise economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, andenhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources of the nation.

(For more detailed information on Pfiesteria and sediment cores in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, contact Thomas M. Cronin, geologist, by phone at (703) 648-6363; or for general information about USGS activities in the Chesapeake Bay Region, visit the Web site at:

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The above story is based on materials provided by United States Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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United States Geological Survey. "Chesapeake Bay Sediment : Home To Pfiesteria-Like Microbes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 1997. <>.
United States Geological Survey. (1997, October 10). Chesapeake Bay Sediment : Home To Pfiesteria-Like Microbes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 28, 2015 from
United States Geological Survey. "Chesapeake Bay Sediment : Home To Pfiesteria-Like Microbes." ScienceDaily. (accessed April 28, 2015).

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