2016 Chesapeake Bay Foundation State of the Bay Report

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chesapeake bay watershedThe health of the Chesapeake Bay increased this year to C-, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) biennial State of the Bay report.

Continued implementation of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and below average rainfall resulted in improvements in nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, dissolved oxygen levels, and water clarity.

Nine of the 13 indicators improved and overall each of the three categories also showed improvement. In the pollution category, toxics comprised the only pollution indicator that did not improve.

In the habitat and fisheries categories, underwater grasses, rockfish, blue crabs, oysters, and shad showed improvements this year. Wetlands, and resource lands indicators were unchanged, and the only indicator to decline was forest buffers.

Established in 1998, CBF’s State of the Bay Report is a comprehensive measure of the Bay’s health. CBF scientists compile and examine the best available data and information for 13 indicators in three categories: pollution, habitat, and fisheries.

CBF scientists assign each indicator an index score from 1-100. Taken together, these indicators offer an overall assessment of Bay health. The overall score for 2016 was 34.

source: Chesapeake Bay Foundation

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