2017 Report Card Signals Improving Health of Chesapeake Bay, Wat - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

2017 Report Card Signals Improving Health of Chesapeake Bay, Waterways

Posted: Apr 26, 2018 8:17 PM Updated:
(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md. - Environmentalists are assigning grades to the waterways surrounding the Chesapeake Bay in an effort to show improving trends.

Elle Bassett, ShoreRiver's Miles-Wye Riverkeeper, says tests prove there are more grasses and oxygen in the water.

"It was a really interesting year for water quality and so it was good to be able express that," Bassett said.

Bassett says both the Miles and Wye are still murky with phosphorous and nitrogen runoff, namely in the Wye, earning them C and B- grades in 2017.

Matt Pluta, the Choptank Riverkeeper, says most of the Bay's tidal waters struggled last year.

"The difference between our 2016 and our 2017 grades and our reports is something we haven't seen in our data before," Pluta said.

Pluta says the difference is mainly due to weather, resulting in spurts of concentrated nutrient runoff.

"This year has been an interesting trend," Pluta said.

The ShoreRiver report cards also grade 14 other waterways based on nutrient, oxygen, water clarity as well as chlorophyll levels. Most rivers in 2017 earned B and C grades, which were worse compared to 2016, but better compared to other years overall.

It's nothing close to an A grade, but Pluta says they'll keep sending out report cards, hoping people will catch on.

"I'm hopeful that we'll continue to improve," Bassett said.

 

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