Chesapeake Bay Report Card: D+

A December 28 Baltimore Sun article summarizes the findings of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s annual Chesapeake Bay report card:

The report notes improvements since the last report in 2008 in eight of 13 indicators, including a rebounding blue crab population and flourishing underwater grasses, a key habitat for crabs and other marine species.

Using a grading system, the bay’s overall grade was a “D-plus,” up slightly from the 2008 grade of “D.”

“The good news is the Chesapeake Bay is getting better,” William C. Baker, president of the foundation, said in an interview. “The bad news is it’s still a system out of balance.” …

Using another measure, the foundation puts the bay’s health at 31 out of 100 — with the top measure being the unspoiled ecosystem described by Capt. John Smith during the first European exploration of the bay.

“Our belief is a 50 would be a stable Chesapeake Bay system and a 70 would be restored,” Baker said. “We very much believe that a 50 really should be achievable by 2025.”

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