Chesapeake Bay given C+ by the Center for Environmental Science – Conduit Street

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The Center for Environmental Science at the University of Maryland gave the Chesapeake Bay an overall grade of C+ for 2021.

This week, the Center for Environmental Science at the University of Maryland 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, a 5-point improvement from the previous year, but nowhere near being considered a healthy environment. A unique feature of the report is the equal weight given to ecological, economic and societal factors. Similar reports, like the one published by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, focus primarily on environmental factors.

Key points to remember:

  • The upper part of the bay still needs a lot of work. Of the ten reporting regions in Maryland: one – Upper West Coast earned a C+; three – Upper Bay, Choptank River and Mid Bay were rated C; two – Lower Eastern Shore and Potomac River scored C-; a – Upper Eastern Shore earned a D; and three – Patuxent River, Lower Western Shore and Patapsco and Back River earned D-.
  • The healthiest part of the bay remains the lower region which obtained a B+
  • The ecological category was the highest in the region at 64%, while the societal and economic categories obtained 54% and 51% respectively.

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