Friday, June 25, 2021

Chesapeake Bay Gets the Gentleman's C

WaPoo, The Chesapeake Bay’s water quality is inching in the right direction, scientists say

Several key health indexes relating to the health of the Chesapeake Bay improved slightly from the previous year, officials said at a news conference Tuesday.

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science gave the overall health of the bay in 2020 a C grade, slightly up from the previous year’s C-minus. The watershed, which includes off-shooting rivers and basins, was rated a B-minus. According to the UMCES annual report, the bay showed moderate health and the watershed showed good health last year.

“The result of the report card are clear: We’re making some progress,” Maryland environmental secretary Ben Grumbles said. “But we have our work cut out for us.”

Seven of the 15 reporting areas in the bay saw improvements, with the highest-scoring region in the lower bay and the lowest-scoring region by Maryland’s Patapsco and Back rivers.

I don't take the various grading systems for the Bay from various interest group very seriously. To the extent they measure anything at all, they mostly reflect annual variability in the Bay, largely caused by weather. Over long periods, the averages may reflect some progress, or regression. And they're designed to never become very good, because then the game would be up. 

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