NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – A non-profit that tracks pollution in the Chesapeake Bay says the health of America’s largest estuary is improving. But the group says huge challenges remain.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation on Wednesday released a midpoint assessment of a federal plan to curb pollution flowing into the watershed by 2025. States are required to cut phosphorous, nitrogen and sediment coming from treated wastewater as well as runoff from farms and cities.
The report’s good news is that the bay’s oxygen dead zone is shrinking. Underwater grasses and oysters are making a coming back. Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia have reduced pollution coming from sewage treatment plants.
But the foundation asserts they’re not doing enough to tackle runoff pollution. It says Pennsylvania is particularly falling short with runoff from farms.
Virginia achieved it’s overall goals for 2017 for nitrogen and phosphorus reduction, but did not reach the goal for sediment. On a positive note, the foundation says that Virginia has exceeded pollution-reduction goals for wastewater, the state also remains on track for its agricultural phosphorus goal.
Local governments will have the opportunity to be involved in clean water plans, to reduce waterways in the local community. The CBF encourages communities to get involved in water quality efforts by supporting the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plans.
Congressman Scott Taylor, Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler, and VIMS Associate Dean of Research and Advisory Services Mark Lukenbach will appear at Eastern Shore Community College tonight to answer questions and discuss the latest news on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic waters.
The program begins at 6:30 pm. and will be at the Eastern Shore Community College Workforce Development Building. The event will be sponsored by the Shorekeeper organization. Those who wish to ask a question are asked to arrive in time to fill out a card.