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Progress toward CBP outcomes

May 17, 2021

A recent review by some members of the Chesapeake Bay Program, the federal-state partnership guiding the restoration effort, found that seven of those outcomes are “unlikely to be met without a significant change in course.

Nearly as many others appear uncertain, based on available data and interviews conducted by the Bay Journal. Several efforts are far short of their goals, while others lack sufficient data to tell how much progress, if any, has been made.

On brook trout, states and nongovernmental organizations like Trout Unlimited have been restoring streams across the watershed to make them habitable for the prized game fish. Because “brookies” require clean, cool water to survive, they are considered the embodiment of a healthy stream ecosystem. The agreement pledged to achieve an 8% expansion in their stream habitat by 2025.

“What we do know is we’re not on a trajectory to make that,” said Stephen Faulkner, a U.S. Geological Survey biologist who chairs the Bay Program team on brook trout. Such a goal may be reachable eventually, he said, though continued development and climate change are working against it.

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