Mid-Atlantic - 2008 Report on the Health of Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay Program has reported that despite increased restoration efforts throughout the watershed, the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay did not improve in 2008. The nation's largest estuary continues to have poor water quality, degraded habitats and low populations of several key species of fish and shellfish. The Chesapeake Bay watershed is affected by pollutants such as excess nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that enter the water from sources including agriculture, urban and suburban runoff, sewage treatment plants, and air pollution. One of the greatest challenges is population growth and development in the region.
Some gains were noted. For example, the Chesapeake Bay Program exceeded its goal for land preservation, with 7.3 million acres permanently protected from development. Acreage of underwater bay grasses increased by 18%; these grasses provide shelter for aquatic life, improve water clarity, increase oxygen and reduce shoreline erosion.
For more information, visit www.chesapeakebay.net