Chesapeake Bay Program Releases Annual Bay Barometer

The Chesapeake Bay Program has released its annual Bay Barometer report, which measures the health and restoration efforts of the Chesapeake Bay.  From the Program’s January 31 announcement:

According to Bay Barometer: Spotlight on Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay and its Watershed, water clarity and dissolved oxygen levels are low, a number of freshwater streams continue to be in poor condition and oyster populations remain at less than one percent of historic levels.

But even as these and other indicators of watershed health point to a stressed ecosystem, early information on how the Bay fared in 2012—from a summertime dead zone estimated to be smaller than normal to the boost in juvenile crabs entering the fishery—gives officials cause for optimism.

Recent restoration work and pollution cuts also offer signs of hope, although it will take time for such efforts to show visible improvements in water quality.

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