State of the Bay 2018

State of the Bay 2018

The overall score assigned by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's State of the Bay 2018 report (16 pages, PDF) fell a point in 2018, to the equivalent of a grade of D+, due largely to increased pollution and poor water clarity caused by record rainfall in the region. Of the thirteen indicators analyzed, the biennial report found that in the pollution category, the score for dissolved oxygen improved, for toxins was unchanged, and for water clarity, nitrogen, and phosphorus fell; that in the habitat category, the scores for underwater grasses and resource lands improved, while for forested buffers and wetlands were unchanged; and that in the fisheries category, scores for oysters, crabs, and rockfish remained the same, while the score for shad declined. The overall 2018 score of 33 falls far short of the foundation's goal of 40 by 2025 and, ultimately, 70 — which would represent a grade of A. The report notes that Virginia and Maryland were close to meeting the 2017 goals set by the Clean Water Blueprint to reduce pollution in local creeks, rivers, and the bay, although both states still need to accelerate their efforts to reduce pollution from agriculture and urban/suburban runoff, while Pennsylvania continues to lag, mostly as a result of falling behind in addressing pollution from agriculture.

FEATURED CONNECTIONS

April 27, 2019