A new report indicates water quality in the Chesapeake Bay is at its healthiest levels in 30 years.
The eco-health report card issued by the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Studies grades bay health overall as a C, or moderate.
“It’s excellent news,” said Harry Campbell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Pennsylvania office in Harrisburg. “It is indicative of the fact that investments that have been made in clean water, particularly in Pennsylvania, are starting to, if you will, quantitatively, verifiably, measurably bear fruit.”
The report gauges bay health in several regions, from the upper bay to the lower eastern shore section, as well as in several regions where rivers enter the bay. Results are based on key indicators, including levels of pollutants like phosphorus and nitrogen.
Campbell says those particular elements are strongly connected to the foundation’s ongoing efforts to reduce agricultural fertilizers that runoff from Pennsylvania farmland into the Susquehanna River and eventually into the bay.
Campbell says while the results are encouraging, Pennsylvania still remains well behind other bay states, which have more sophisticated water quality improvement plans.
“We need to keep doing what we’re doing, double down on investments, and actually get this job done,” he said.
Online: Eco-Health Report Card