The Chesapeake Bay Foundation downgraded the health of the nation’s largest estuary Monday from a C-minus to a D-plus, blaming the dip in its latest report card on increased pollution from extraordinary amounts of rainfall in 2018.
Record amounts of rainfall in 2018 increased the amount of pollution washing into the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers. (Dave Harp)
“The Bay suffered a massive assault in 2018,” said CBF President Will Baker. Chronically wet weather throughout the six-state watershed washed more water-fouling nutrients into the Bay, reversing what had been several years of sustained gains in reducing pollution.
Only two years ago, the Annapolis-based environmental group had bumped the Bay’s health grade up to C-minus, declaring the estuary to be in the best shape since it began issuing periodic report cards in 1998.