The University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science gave the Chesapeake Bay an overall grade of C+ for 2021.
This week, the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science released its annual report detailing the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The report focuses on three main categories (ecological, economic, and societal) to determine the overall quality of the bay. For 2021 the bay received a total health score of 50 out of 100, an improvement of 5 points over the prior year, but a long way from being considered a healthy environment. A unique feature of the report is the equal weight placed on ecological, economic, and societal factors. Similar reports, such as the one published by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, primarily focus on environmental factors.
- The upper region of the bay still needs a lot of work. Of Maryland’s ten reporting regions: one – the Upper Western Shore scored a C+; three – Upper Bay, Choptank River, and Mid Bay scored C; two – Lower Eastern Shore and Potomac River scored C-; one – Upper Eastern Shore scored a D; and three – Patuxent River, Lower Western Shore, and Patapsco and Back River scored a D-.
- The healthiest part of the bay remains the lower region which scored a B+
- The ecological category was the region’s highest at 64%, while the societal and economic categories scored 54% and 51%, respectively.