USGS scientists contribute to independent study evaluating why progress in achieving Bay water quality goals is lagging
Chesapeake Bay Program — Press Release — May 9, 2023
The report by the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee offers options on how restoration can be accelerated
"Reducing the amount of pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay and improving its water quality is proving to be more challenging than anticipated, according to a new report released by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) for the Chesapeake Bay Program. The STAC, an independent entity that provides scientific and technical advice to the Chesapeake Bay Program, has spent the past four years evaluating reasons as to why progress in meeting the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL) and achieving water quality standards in the Chesapeake Bay has been slower than anticipated. The report also offers suggestions on how progress can be accelerated moving forward.
While significant progress has been made in addressing nutrient and sediment pollution since the signing of the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement in 1983, modeling and monitoring indicate that current efforts to reduce nutrient pollution entering the Chesapeake will not meet Bay TMDL goals, and water quality conditions in many regions of the estuary have been slow to respond to restoration efforts.
The report examines how effective our current actions have been in helping to reduce nutrient pollution from wastewater treatment plants (point sources), as well as farms and developed lands (non-point sources). It then looks at how the Bay’s water quality is responding to these actions. Finally, it considers how the Bay’s living resources (e.g., blue crabs, oysters, fish) are impacted by these changes in water quality. . ."
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