Chesapeake Bay

Health of Chesapeake Bay Graded at All-Time High, C-

Jan 5, 2017
Steve Helber / AP

 

About 18 million people live along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The economic value of keeping waters pollution-free ranges from the fish and blue crabs we eat to the summer swims we take. 

Every two years the Chesapeake Bay Foundation gives the bay a physical, checking into habitat, fisheries and pollution. This year the bay went from a D+ to a C-.

A recent study from EPA’s Chesapeake Bay program has confirmed that the water quality in the nation’s largest estuary is improving, thanks to a pollution diet for states in the Bay’s watershed.

But there’s one part of one state—the five counties of South Central Pennsylvania—that lags behind in reaching its pollution reduction goals, mostly because of fertilizer that runs off farm fields into Bay tributaries.

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Several sightings of a dead whale in Virginia waters of the Chesapeake Bay have been reported since last weekend. Because it's on the move the Virginia Aquarium has been unable to locate it.

Pamela D'Angelo / WVTF

 

Virginia is the nation’s third largest producer of marine products, behind Alaska and Louisiana. But working waterfronts in coastal Virginia are under increasing threats from development, sea level rise, subsidence, and loss of marine habitat to name a few. 

Pamela D'Angelo

At a meeting in Maine this week, Atlantic coast fisheries managers agreed to increase the catch for menhaden, a fish considered crucial to birds, other fish and by commercial watermen to catch crabs. It's also key to the remaining fish oil plant on the East Coast here in Virginia.  

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