EPA Bay Program’s Latest Model Estimates a Decrease in Pollution Entering Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) announced new results yesterday, derived from its Watershed Model, that estimate jurisdictions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have made progress towards meeting their 2025 pollution reduction goals. 

Since 2010, the federal government, the six Bay watershed states, and the District of Columbia have been working to meet the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint’s 2025 deadline by adopting policies and practices to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution entering the Bay and its waterways. Despite significant water quality improvements, most partners are unlikely to meet most of these goals by 2025. 

But CBP’s recent estimates show progress. According to the model, as a result of an increase in pollution reduction practices being put into place and favorable environmental conditions, pollution loads are estimated to have decreased watershed-wide between 2022 and 2023, with nitrogen falling 3.3 percent, phosphorus falling 4.5 percent, and overall sediment levels decreasing by 1 percent.  

Alison Prost, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Vice President for Environmental Protection and Restoration, issued the following statement: 

“Now more than ever, we need strong state and federal leadership, committed partners, and a clear path forward for restoring a healthy, productive Chesapeake Bay. Despite significant gains estimated by the model’s data, including the largest year-to-year reduction from agricultural sources in Virginia and Pennsylvania, 2025 pollution reduction goals will not be met. These most recent model results are encouraging but on-the-ground outcomes don't match up and the latest science tells us we can better optimize our efforts. Climate change is also making reducing pollution harder.  

“The next phase of Bay cleanup will require bold thinking grounded in sound science and built on a foundation of accountability. Federal and state investments must be increased and implemented toward the most effective and efficient projects. Fortunately, the partnership has decades of experience to guide us. Acknowledging and learning from the lessons of the past is critical to building a resilient future for the Bay and its waterways.” 


Rob Beach

Vice President for Communications, CBF

[email protected]

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

Save the Bay

Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

Save the Bay
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