(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Beth McGee, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Director of Science and Agricultural Policy, issued this statement following release of results from the Early August Hypoxia Report. The report found areas with low dissolved oxygen to be "much better than average" during the early August cruise in Maryland waters. Scientists had predicted the dead zone would be slightly larger than average this summer.
"This is good news, and another sign that the Bay may be becoming more resilient. Last year's record acreage of Bay grasses, improving oyster populations, and a smaller dead zone all indicate the Clean Water Blueprint is working. Progress will only continue with increased efforts from the Bay states, and EPA's full participation. As Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Program's Executive Council, Governor Hogan's leadership is critical to ensure that Bay restoration efforts are on track to meet the pollution-reduction goals.
"All the cruises this summer have found no anoxic conditions, areas of the bay with virtually no oxygen. That is important because having some oxygen present prevents pollution on the Bay floor from recycling back into the water column.
"If the trend continues, it will be the third year in a row that scientists have found no anoxic conditions, something that hasn't happened since water quality monitoring began in 1985."
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources information can be found here.