Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Rain Causes Chesapeake Bay Downgrade

From WaPoo: Chesapeake Bay’s health receives D-plus on foundation’s report card
Scientists rated the health of the Chesapeake Bay a D-plus in a report released Monday, the first time in a decade that the health of the bay has decreased.

Officials at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which issues a report card every two years, cited record regional rainfall as the cause of increased pollution and poor ­water clarity in the bay, which had seen substantial improvementsto its health in recent years.

“Simply put, the bay suffered a massive assault in 2018,” William Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said in a news conference Monday. “The bay’s sustained improvement was reversed in 2018, exposing just how fragile recovery is.”
 Baker, and WaPoo's mandatory, and largely irrelevant Trup bashing cut.
Marks for nitrogen and phosphorous pollution declined in this year’s report, compared with 2016, when the last report was released. The bay received a ­C-minus rating then.

Baker said severe pollution in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Susquehanna River, which supplies 50 percent of the bay’s fresh water, contributed to its declining health. He said there are 19,000 miles of streams and rivers in Pennsylvania that are polluted and suggested that the state must find the “political will” to fully fund efforts to bring them back to health.
Wow. A full grade point lower? I haven't seen that much degradation here in the middle of the Maryland portion of the Bay, but certainly the upper was more impacted by the stormwater, sediments, and just plain dilution by freshwater, which can impact the more salt loving animals (like oysters) and plants (SAV).

Pennsylvania, which has no shoreline on the Bay, but is the source of much of the freshwater discharge is a reluctant player here. Somehow, Maryland and Virginia need to find a way to sweeten the pot, and encourage Pennsylvania to do better.

Maryland also needs for bite the bullet on Conowingo Dam, and find the money to dredge the pool behind it to make more room for new sediment to settle out. I'd rather have my money spent on that than purchasing or condemning more private land for the state to sequester away from the people.

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