Report: Cleaner Chesapeake Bay, improvements still needed

The health of the Chesapeake Bay is improving.

"Scientists have been looking carefully at the progress that's being made on water quality and they are seeing improvement," explains Alan Girard, the Eastern Shore Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Improvement detailed in the Chesapeake Bay's midpoint assessment. A progress report that's pointing to cleaner water with a record number of underwater grasses and other crucial indicators.

"Long term dead zones in the bay declined in volume. These are the low oxygen areas that are caused by too much pollution running off the landscape. Crab populations are doing well oyster populations are beginning to rebound."

Despite the progress made for a cleaner bay, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says there's still a few areas that need improvement.

"Storm water from roads, rooftops, parking lots that is the only source of pollution that's actually growing in the wrong direction. We have seen pollution from that sector increase," explains Girard.

That's why they are asking cities and towns to step up their plans on storm water runoff management.

According to The Bay Foundation, if those amounts lower like they have with wastewater and agricultural run off, the bay will be one step closer to meeting its requirements for clean water by 2025.

"We're focusing on the areas that need the most help. That is polluted runoff from our landscape agriculture needs some more help as well and going forward we need to focus on those areas to ensure that the blueprint succeeds."

The Bay Foundation reports that there is some concern that the EPA is planning on pushing back that 2025 deadline for states to meet the Clean Water Act requirements, but they are hoping that doesn't happen because the bay's health shouldn't wait any longer.

Categories: Local News, Maryland