Monday, November 13, 2006

Bay Still Failing, but Not Quite as Badly

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation released its State of the Bay Report this morning. The Bay's score is up to 29 from 27 last year (to grade a 29 as a "D" seems a heck of a curve). According to CBF:

A score of 40 points would be enough to meet the 2010 goal of getting the bay off the nation's "dirty waters" list; a 70 would indicate a restored bay; and 100 would represent the pristine estuary that Capt. John Smith explored early in the 17th century.

The report found that improvements had been made in the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Bay, as well in dissolved oxygen, riparian buffers, and oysters. Declines were reported in both the amount of wetlands and numbers of shad in the Bay.

While improvements in nutrient pollution are encouraging, experts warn that they could be the result of a dry spring, causing less runoff, rather than permanent changes to pollution loading in the Bay.

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