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Report: Chesapeake Bay health improving

By , - Last modified: January 3, 2013 at 11:08 AM

The health of the Chesapeake Bay is improving, but Pennsylvania and other states in the bay watershed must keep moving forward, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The foundation on Wednesday released its 2012 “State of the Bay” report, which ranks the bay on 13 indicators of environmental health. Five indicators improved, seven stayed the same and one declined.

The foundation gave the bay an overall score of 32 points out of 100, up one point from 2010 and four points from 2008. A score of 70 would indicate “a saved bay,” the foundation said.

“We can be proud of the progress we have made,” foundation President William Baker said in a statement.

For decades, the bay has been harmed by pollution from farm runoff, water treatment plants and other sources. To reverse the damage, the federal government and the states in the bay watershed are implementing the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint, an ambitious program of pollution control and mitigation measures.

The foundation singled out several initiatives for praise, among them Lancaster’s Green Infrastructure Plan, which aims at reducing stormwater runoff. On the other hand, “Pennsylvania must increase efforts to reduce pollution from agriculture and stormwater,” the report said.

“Pennsylvania has made progress toward meeting Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint goals, but we have a lot more to do,” LeeAnn Murray, the foundation’s acting executive director for Pennsylvania, said in a statement.

“The Susquehanna River provides over half of the fresh water to the bay, so what we do to the Susquehanna — we do to the bay,” Murray said.


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