Thursday, May 23, 2019

Extra Rain Has Chesapeake Bay Singing the Blues

Low health scores rain on Chesapeake Bay’s recovery
A year of historically heavy rainfall strained the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem — but not past the breaking point, according to a wide-ranging assessment released Tuesday.

The estuary’s overall health score in 2018 dropped from 54% to 46% but retained its “C” grade for a seventh consecutive year, according to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s latest report card.

It marked the lowest grade since 2013 and reversed a streak of four years of improving or steady scores.

“We don’t have as good of news to report because of some record rainfall,” said Bill Dennison, UMCES vice president for science application. “The good news is it took a hit, but it did not crash.”
And this looks like at wet year so far, too. One of my big problems with the scoring systems is that they are all so weather dependent. Whenever the scores are given, they are always caveated with comments about how the rating was affect by the weather, which was always too wet, or two dry (when you think about it, very few years are really "average").

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