Jan 06, 2021

Chesapeake Bay Foundation 2020 State of the Bay Score Remains D+

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's 2020 assessment of the State of the Bay remained at a D+, 

2020’s Chesapeake Bay Foundation's (CBF) assessment of the State of the Bay remained at a D+. 

While the grade stayed at D+, the assessment declined by one point from 2018, reported the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

“In 2020, the score declined one point to a 32, largely due to ineffective management of the Bay's striped bass,” said the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “Of the 13 indicators CBF assesses, four showed declines. Nitrogen and phosphorus scores improved. Long-term data trends show a shrinking dead zone, and large-scale oyster restoration is working.”

According to the foundation, the decline is largely due to ineffective management of the Bay's striped bass population.

There are 13 indicators that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation assesses and four of these indicators showed declines. These indicators include: water clarity, nitrogen and phosphorus, wetlands and more.

Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint has a goal of implementing practices by 2025 that will reduce pollution sufficiently to restore water quality in local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.

"There is new hope. President-elect Biden has long been a reliable partner in Bay restoration efforts, and we are optimistic that the new administration will take the protection of water quality and human health more seriously," said CBF President William C. Baker. "Pollution is not just a problem here in the Bay, it is a problem around the world. This is a historic opportunity to demonstrate to the world that by following the science, we can save a national treasure."

Scientists for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation assign each indicator an index score from 1–100. 

"The good news is that recent studies provide evidence of the Bay's increased resiliency. This resiliency is a direct result of the pollution reductions achieved to date. But the recovery is still fragile, and the system remains dangerously out of balance," said CBF's Director of Science and Agricultural Policy Beth McGee.

Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution improved and the level of dissolved oxygen in the water and water clarity, critical to aquatic life, improved as well, according to the report. There was no change in the toxics score.

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