The first-ever analysis of the economic benefits provided by nature in the Chesapeake Bay watershed finds those benefits will total $130 billion annually when the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the regional plan to restore the Bay, is fully implemented.
The report estimates that the value of natural benefits from the pre-Blueprint Bay watershed, even in its polluted and degraded condition, at $107 billion. Once the Blueprint is fully implemented and the benefits realized, that amount grows by 21 percent to $129.7 billion a year. Equally telling, if the region relaxes efforts and does little more to clean up the Bay than what has been done to date, pollution will worsen and the value of Bay benefits will decline by almost $6 billion.
The report quantifies what each state in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have to gain if the Bay is restored—and what they have to lose if it is not.