This year's report of Bay health has given us hope, but also anxiety. In some areas underwater grasses are coming back, and the water is getting clearer. The Bay is demonstrating its resiliency.
Wastewater treatment plants are discharging significantly less pollution. Elected officials have invested significant dollars in upgrading plants, and those plants are required to achieve measurable reductions in nitrogen and phosphorous pollution.
At the same time, pollution from stormwater runoff from development continues to increase. And reductions in agricultural pollution showed minimal progress from last year.
One conclusion is clear: When our elected officials invest resources and demand accountability, pollution is reduced. This isn't rocket science.
We can achieve pollution reductions from all sources if Congress passes the Chesapeake Clean Water Act. This legislation would establish a pollution diet for the Bay watershed, would hold states accountable for keeping to the diet, and would provide substantial financial assistance, especially to farmers and to local government. It's time.