The Chesapeake Bay is doing a little better this year, say officials from the Chesapeake Bay program. They described the Bay's performance as "resilient," saying, as it often does, that the Bay is improving but still in need of improvement.
On the one hand, barely one-third of the bay had enough dissolved oxygen to be considered healthy, the water was largely muddy and silty, and the beleaguered oyster is still barely clinging to life at 1 percent of historic levels.
But on the plus side, large underwater grass beds survived and even grew dramatically. Rockfish, once threatened, are above target levels, and there are more young crabs than at any time in 20 years. One of the most important finds: it would appear that the 2012 dead zone where things suffocate to death in the bay was the smallest since 1985.
The program also listed other major restoration accomplishments, including:
They also noted progress toward Meeting the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), known as the "pollution diet," from 2009-2011, including: