CBF Statement in Response to 2021 UMCES Chesapeake Bay Report Card

Today, the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science released its 2021 Chesapeake Bay Report Card, which showed modest overall improvement in Bay health while highlighting ongoing struggles to improve water quality in portions of the upper Bay.

The report largely aligns with CBF’s 2020 State of the Bay Report, which found Bay health stagnating as jurisdictions work to reduce nonpoint sources of pollution—mostly from agricultural activities. Reducing these sources of pollution typically requires more support and buy-in from private landowners compared to limiting pollution from point sources such as industrial facilities or wastewater treatment plants.

In response to the report, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Director of Science and Agricultural Policy Beth McGee issued the following statement:

“The Bay is trending in the right overall direction, but it still has a long way to go, a hill made steeper due to climate change. In this new report, portions of the lower Bay are faring well. However, areas in the upper Bay continue to struggle. Near Baltimore, wastewater plant failures are likely contributing to low health scores for the Patapsco and Back rivers and must be quickly fixed. We’re also concerned about the declining health of waterways in the Upper Eastern Shore and we’ll be looking into potential reasons for the drop in water quality.  

“To accelerate the Bay cleanup, we’re encouraging jurisdictions to invest in regenerative agriculture, plant more trees and forest buffers, and expand green infrastructure such as rain gardens and bioswales in urban areas. As most of the pollution reduction necessary must come from agriculture, it is essential that the U.S. Department of Agriculture increase conservation funding across the region. The largest need is in Pennsylvania, which is significantly behind in meeting its commitments. 

“We appreciate the inclusion of economic and societal indicators in the latest UMCES report. In the past, sources of pollution have often been concentrated near low-income and minority communities, so we hope this information can be used in the future to better understand and prevent this type of environmental injustice.” 


John Surrick 90x110

John Surrick

Former Director of Media Relations, CBF

Support the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

Donate Today


Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or advocating for a clean Bay, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

This website uses cookies to tailor and enhance your online experience. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, including details on how to disable cookies, please visit our Privacy Policy. Close