(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Today, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science released its annual Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Report Card. The report card noted the extreme rainfall in 2018 and found that all indicator scores either decreased or remained the same, similar to the results of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) State of the Bay Report. Following the release, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Director of Science and Agricultural Policy Beth McGee issued this statement.
“Despite the setbacks observed in 2018, long-term trends are moving in the right direction. The Bay is showing increased resiliency that reduces short-term damage and should speed recovery from extreme weather events.
“The Bay is recovering but it is a fragile recovery. Extreme weather caused by climate change means pollution must be reduced even more from sources we can control. The states and federal government must do more to save the Bay.
“The report includes new indicators to assess ecosystem health throughout the watershed, not just the tidal areas. One finding was that nitrogen scores were typically better in rural areas compared to urban waterways. As the states are currently developing the final phase of their clean-up plans, this underscores the need to accelerate efforts to address pollution from urban and suburban runoff as well as to continue to make progress reducing pollution from agriculture, which is still the largest source.”