WAMU 88.5 : News

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Quality Is Better, Streams Still Poor

Play associated audio
The Chesapeake Bay watershed has seen improvement, despite an increasing population in the area.
Kevin Coles, http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcjc/511296815/
The Chesapeake Bay watershed has seen improvement, despite an increasing population in the area.

Scientists have been monitoring the levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment at sites across the bay watershed since 1985. These are pollutants from runoff that smother life in the Bay.

According to the USGS, 70 percent of test sites showed improvement for nitrogen and phosphorous over the long term and 40 percent of sites showed improvement for sediment through 2009.

"Over the past 50 years, we've doubled the amount of people in the Bay watershed, but we're still seeing downward trends in the majority of sites," says Scott Phillips, Chesapeake Bay coordinator for the USGS.

That's in part due to ongoing renovations at wastewater treatment plants. Scientists say conservation measures dealing with runoff from stormwater and agriculture will take longer to appear. And they point out that "better" does not mean "good" -- more than half the streams in the area are in poor or very poor condition.

Chesapeake Bay Report Card
NPR

Peruvians Love Their Chicha Street Art. The Government ... Not So Much

Walk down a street in Peru and you'll likely see an example of the glow-in-the-dark posters and murals. Lots of people love them. But the upper crust — and the government — aren't impressed.
NPR

Tea-Infused Sweets: Chocolate + Jasmine Tea Is A Match Made In Heaven

Smoky and floral brews can provide a kick of flavor to desserts, especially when blended with chocolate. Pastry chef Naomi Gallego shows us a few tricks for surprising the palate with tea.
WAMU 88.5

America's First Ladies

They walk a tricky line: closest adviser to the President of the United States and hostess in chief. A new book examines the evolution of the role of first lady of the United States.

WAMU 88.5

E-Cigarettes and Vaping

Last week, the D.C. Council voted to designate e-cigarettes and "similar vapor products containing nicotine" as tobacco products. That means that their sales tax will jump from the regular 5.75% sales tax to the 70% tax that's tacked onto sales of products like cigarettes and cigars. We explore what this means for the evolving public health debate surrounding e-cigarettes.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.