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Chesapeake Bay Shows Modest Environmental Improvement

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The Chesapeake Bay is still far from healthy, but it showed modest improvement.
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The Chesapeake Bay is still far from healthy, but it showed modest improvement.

The health of the Chesapeake Bay improved slightly last year, according to a new report by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Crabs and oysters are doing better, and there was more oxygen dissolved in the bay's waters in 2012.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation rates the bay's health on a scale from 0 to 100 using different indicators. A rating of 70 would mean a healthy bay. This year it got a 32. That's actually four points better than 2008.

Underwater grass coverage was the only health indicator that worsened last year. The grasses were hurt by high water temperatures and smothered by sediment and pollution washed in by heavy rains.

The Foundation says the bay is still out of balance, but the improvement may reflect a new federal strategy that's bringing together six states and the District of Columbia to reduce pollution that gets washed into the estuary.

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