Slight Improvement in Health of Md. Coastal Bays - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Slight Improvement in Health of Md. Coastal Bays

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

WORCESTER COUNTY, Md.- The report card is in and the grades are out and the Maryland Coastal Bays Program says the bays saw a slight improvement in health from 2011 to 2012.  The overall grade was raised from a "C" to a "C+."

Sonny Gwin, who is a captain of a commercial fishing boat, said that he has noticed an improvement in the bay waters with his own eyes.

"Oh yeah, there is more life in the bay waters and the ocean adjoining it than the law allows.  There is just life everywhere," said Gwin.

The Maryland Coastal Bays Program released the 2012 health grade of a "C+" on Thursday afternoon.  The grade takes into consideration the health of all six coastal bays studied.  They are the St. Martin River, along with the Assawoman, Isle of Wight, Newport, Sinepuxent, and Chincoteague Bays.  Jerry Lambertson works on the fishing boat with Gwin and understands just how critical health waters are to the local economy.

"Clean water is probably one of the most important things there is in this area," he said. "It drives the economy and our waters are special. There is not a whole lot of industry built on to it."

Officials from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program said the bays contribute $800 million each year to the state's economy. 

It will be another year before the grade for 2013 is released but those who rely on the water hope this "C" to "C+" starts a trend on improvement for the state's coastal bays.

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