(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Senior Water Quality Scientist Beth McGee issued this statement following the release of the Chesapeake Bay Program's Bay Barometer.
"This report is a sobering reminder that although we have made progress in reducing pollution, we still have a long way to go to restore local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.
"Because some factors influencing restoration progress, like rainfall and lag times, are beyond our control, we must focus on factors we can control. Efforts to restore wetlands and forested buffers are far behind what is needed to achieve the 2025 goals. Local jurisdictions need increased support to reduce urban and suburban polluted runoff, the only major pollution source continuing to grow. And more progress must be made to reduce pollution from other sources, including agriculture, septic systems, air, and sewage.
"The need to increase the pace of pollution reduction should be a "call to action" for the upcoming meeting of the Executive Council. When it meets next week, the Executive Council must reaffirm its commitment to the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and implementing the required practices by the 2017 and 2025 deadlines. Taking these actions will reduce the risk to human health, create jobs, and leave a lasting legacy for future generations."