Chesapeake Bay Shows Signs Of Health, Despite Rains And Climate Change

"There’s good news for the Chesapeake Bay this year. Underwater grasses are at the highest level on record — an important sign of water quality. Blue crabs are being harvested at a sustainable level — meaning there are enough to feed hungry Marylanders while still leaving plenty in the water to reproduce. More than a million acres of land in the Chesapeake watershed have been permanently protected from development since 2010 — preventing the polluted runoff associated with building houses, roads and shopping centers.

The latest barometer of the Chesapeake’s health, released today, shows that by many indicators, the bay is on track to reach restoration goals. Those goals were set by a 2014 agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and the six states (plus D.C.!) that make up the watershed. The region is supposed to meet the goals by 2025.

“Over the last year, we’ve seen records broken,” said Dana Aunkst, director of the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, which released the annual report. He cited the record 100,000-acres-plus of underwater grasses in the bay — the most, since records began 30 years ago. He also pointed to data showing overall water quality at its highest level recorded."

Jacob Fenston reports for WAMU April 2, 2019.

Source: WAMU, 04/04/2019