GLEN BURNIE, Md. – On June 2nd, a sewage pipe South of Baltimore in the town of Glen Burnie burst, leaking over 10,000 gallons of dirty sewage into a tributary of Marley Creek.
The incident would cause the death of over 50,000 Atlantic Menhaden, as well as many other species, approximately one week later.
The incident was reported to the Maryland Department of National Resources by Daniel Macleod, a 70-year-old boater who was working on his vessel in the Marley Creek Marina when he noticed thousands of dead fish floating in the water.
He quickly snapped some photos and sent them over to the MDNR, as well as the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The spokesman for the MDE, Jay Apperson, said in an interview with the Baltimore Sun that the fish were likely killed by anoxic bottom water intrusion.
This scientific phenomenon is caused when low oxygen quality water rises to the surface during low tide.
In turn, fish would suffocate due to the dip in oxygen quality.
In addition, officials theorize that the sewage spill caused a phytoplankton algae bloom, which sucked up all the oxygen in the water, thus depriving the fish of any and turning the creek into a kill zone.
This incident follows an increased push for improved sewage infrastructure in Maryland.
Multiple large sewage plants have reportedly been struggling with maintenance issues, causing more waste to leak into the Chesapeake Bay.
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