Overall water quality in the Chesapeake Bay declined slightly between 2018-2020, according to the most recent assessment by the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) and U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). USGS reported mixed results in the trends of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution. USGS said that “high river flows in 2018 and 2019 have caused another short-term decline in the health of the Bay.”
Following the announcement, Beth McGee, director of science and agricultural policy for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), issued this statement.
“The Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions are well aware that the additional and more intense storms caused by climate change will require more to be done to reduce pollution.
“The Bay jurisdictions must accelerate efforts and prioritize practices, like planting more trees and using green infrastructure, that will reduce flooding and sequester carbon, as well as reducing polluted runoff. This is critical to stem pollution from agriculture, the largest source of pollution, as well as reducing urban/suburban runoff, the largest source of pollution that is continuing to increase.”
Editors’ note: Bay Program Release