The fourth and final Bay Journal article (2018-10-18) in a special series looking at the Chesapeake Bay ended with a cautionary but optimistic assessment of Bay Restoration efforts. The article summarized the positive progress that has been made and stressed that many of the pollution reductions undertaken now will not show their impact until years or decades from now. The article noted that some scientists believe the Bay is at a “tipping point” where a little more improvement in water quality could accelerate natural processes, such as bottom algae growth, which will result in additional water quality gains.
From the article:
“That is really exciting,” said Beth McGee, senior water quality scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “We know the Bay isn’t going to be saved by 2025. But the big unknown is what we are seeing now — the notion of a tipping point. We are seeing improvements.”
Scientists refer to that natural assistance as “positive feedback.” It has the potential to act “like a turbocharger” for the ecosystem by producing greater — and perhaps faster — improvements, said Bill Dennison, vice president for science applications with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
“We certainly have got the trajectory in the right direction,” he said. “That is the most important thing because that positive trajectory helps accelerate the feedback.”