Hurricane Matthew is the topic on everyone’s mind this weekend, and the one question on every crab cake lover’s mind is whether or not Hurricane Matthew will have an effect on the Chesapeake Bay. Rainfall, wind, and temperature all have huge effects on the Bay, so how will this weekend affect the crabs we all love?
Heavy Rainfall Impacts
Whenever a hurricane passes through or near the Maryland region, the Chesapeake Bay experiences heavy rainfall, which consequently changes the amount of water in the rivers, the amount of fresh water entering the bay, and the runoff entering storm drains and (eventually) the Bay. A great amount of fresh water suddenly entering the Chesapeake Bay decreases the overall salinity (or salt content) of the water. Some aquatic species, including blue crabs, will change their reproduction or migration habits based on salinity.
Beyond the change in salinity, the amount of runoff entering the Chesapeake Bay can dramatically change water quality. Runoff consists of many things, including nutrients, sediment, trash, pollutants, and chemicals from yard work. Excess nutrients in the water can lead to algae blooms that steal valuable oxygen from aquatic life. Sediment can prevent light from penetrating the water and feeding grasses and food for crabs beneath the water.
The strong winds that come hand in hand with hurricanes also have an effect on the Chesapeake Bay. Strong winds tend to pile layers of surface water against one shore of the Chesapeake Bay depending on which direction they are blowing. Strong hurricane winds can also create a very low or very high tide, again disrupting crabs and aquatic life.
Aquatic life in the Bay is also affected by water temperature changes that can be brought with hurricanes. The Chesapeake is, on average, only 21 feet deep, so an abrupt warming or cooling of the water can have a huge impact on migration, reproduction, and underwater grasses that feed many underwater organisms.
Box Hill Crab Cakes is your source for the freshest, most authentic Maryland crab cakes—and we’ll ship them to your door! Our top-secret family recipe has been fine tuned for decades and we guarantee you will love them. Visit us online to place your order or give us a call at 410-515-3662. Want to get recipe ideas, updates, and information on sales? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Trip Advisor, YouTube, and Twitter.