Photo © 2010 Krista Schlyer/iLCP
State of the Bay 2012
Chesapeake Bay Health Improves
Report Shows Progress—But Much More Needs To Be Done
Download the 2012 State of the Bay Report (pdf)
(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's (CBF) 2012 State of the Bay report shows the health of the Bay improved one point over the last report in 2010, and is up four points since 2008, a 10 percent improvement in less than five years. Of the 13 indicators that make up the report, five improved, seven stayed the same, and only one declined.
"Continued progress shows what can be done when governments, businesses, and individuals work together to save local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay," CBF President William C. Baker said. "While the Bay is still dangerously out of balance, I am cautiously optimistic for the future. The federal/state Clean Water Blueprint for the Chesapeake Bay is in place and beginning to work."
The State of the Bay report is a comprehensive measure of the Bay's health, evaluating the following indicators: oysters, shad, crabs, striped bass (rockfish), underwater grasses, wetlands, forested buffers, resource lands, toxics, water clarity, dissolved oxygen, and phosphorus and nitrogen pollution. CBF scientists compile and examine the best available historical and up-to-date information for each indicator and assign it an index score, between 1-100, and a letter grade. Taken together, these indicators offer an assessment of Bay health.
Read the entire press release
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State of the Bay 2010
Download the 2010 State of the Bay Report (pdf)
Make no mistake, the Bay is still a system dangerously out of balance—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to list the Chesapeake and its tidal tributaries as impaired. Health departments still caution people to stay out of the water for 48 hours after a heavy rain. Fish consumption warnings continue. Human health is at risk. And tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in fishing and related industries alone.
But there is progress. In 2008, Maryland and Virginia set science-based regulations to curtail female crab catch, and this year's crab score leapt by 15 points. Underwater grasses, once devastated by pollution, are doing much better. Dissolved oxygen, buffersd, water clarity, and toxics scores showed measurable progress as well.
But if the Bay is to reach that elusive tipping point we all seek, we will need a near revolution of public outrage and commitment. We must hold government accountable to enforce pollution reduction laws. And we must overcome those forces which argue that the environment is expendable, that it must be sacrificed.
The time for action and stewardship is now.
Excerpt from the President's Messsage, page 2
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2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000