2018 Bay Health Report Shows Decline; Overall Trend Good - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

2018 Bay Health Report Shows Decline; Overall Trend Good

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. - There's no smooth sailing for the Chesapeake Bay yet. University of Maryland scientists say the Bay's health dipped in 2018 and last summer's severe weather is to blame.

In 2017, the Bay got an overall C grade at 54-percent, but in 2018, it dropped to 46-percent, which is still considered a C.

The reason for the drop: lots and lots of rain.

There was record rainfall in places like Maryland last year - some areas saw as much as 72 inches. Indicators in the Bay like water clarity as well as crab and fish populations fell.

But University of Maryland Scientist Bill Dennison says despite the slip, overall trends and more than a decade of science prove the Bay's health is still improving.

"For the last four years, we've been able to report improving scores," Dennison said. "We've changed the course. We have been steadily eroding uh the ecosystem and integrity of the Chesapeake Bay and now we're starting to build it back up with more resilient communities."

But watermen, like Rob Newberry of the Delmarva Fisheries Association argue the state of the Bay is much worse. With years and millions of dollars already spent, he says saving the Bay is not working.

"It will get better overtime, but don't paint a good picture of something that isn't right," Newberry said. "We've got rainfall. We've got neglect and we've got ignorance as to what exactly is the problem with the Bay. It's pollution."

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