In this Aug. 1, 2018, file photo, debris washed into the Chesapeake Bay from record rainfall accumulates around a sailboat in Annapolis, Md. An annual report on the Chesapeake Bay says pollution from unusually heavy rains in 2018 contributed to the first decline in a decade in the overall health of the nation’s largest estuary. (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)
What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, January 17, 2019:
There’s good news and bad news in a recent report on the Chesapeake Bay’s health.
First the bad news. Record regional rainfall last year in the watershed area washed an enormous amount of debris and pollutants into the Bay, significantly affecting the water quality.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation recently released their State of the Bay report card, awarding an overall D+ due to increased pollution and poor water clarity. This is a downgrade from the previous report issued two years ago.
The Foundation also tracks the progress of states in the watershed toward achieving goals set to reduce pollution in local creeks and rivers. Pennsylvania continues to fall short of meeting its goals.
The good news? Pollution causing dead zones in the Bay are decreasing and the important bay grasses are intact; an important component of the ecosystem.
Will Baker and Harry Campbell
Photo taken September 22, 2018, from a Cessna at 2500 feet. Photo shows the mouth of the Susquehanna as waters enter the Bay, looking north. (photo courtesy of Kirk Allison)