Chesapeake Bay ecosystem health remains poor, but slightly improved in 2007

April 03, 2008

An independent scientific analysis led by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researchers gives the Chesapeake Bay a C-minus in 2007, indicating that Bay ecological conditions were slightly better than the previous year, but far below what is needed for a healthy Bay.

"The Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card shows conditions slightly improved last year, but there is nothing here from which we can take great comfort," said University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researcher and project leader Bill Dennison. "Data gathered from more than 150 monitoring sites throughout the Bay show us that the health of the Bay remains poor. We are not on the road to recovery."

Scientists note that the increase from a D-plus in 2006 to a C-minus in 2007 was highlighted by improved conditions in Maryland's Upper Western Shore (including the Gunpowder and Bush Rivers) and the Choptank River on the Eastern Shore. However, they also warn that those improvements may in part be due to the summer drought.

"The summer drought most certainly played a role in last year's health," said Dennison. "We had record low rainfall in many regions, which led to less nutrient and sediment pollution flowing into the Bay during the critical June to September timeframe."

The report card also allows scientists to compare conditions in various parts of the Bay over a number of years. This analysis provides insight into several important trends: "These long term trends are disturbing. At best, we are only holding our own against population growth and development taking place throughout the Bay watershed," added Dennison.

"The scientifically-rigorous report card reinforces the notion that conditions across the bay vary from creek to creek and river to river," said University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science President Donald F. Boesch. "These local variations are a clarion call to Bay managers that targeting pollution reduction programs is critical to accelerating improvements in Bay health."
-end-
Data used in the Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card is collected across the entire Maryland and Virginia portions of the Chesapeake Bay by several state and federal agencies as part of the Chesapeake Bay monitoring program. Report card production is supported by Eco-Check, a NOAA-UMCES partnership.

For more information about the 2007 Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card including region-specific data and downloadable graphics, visit www.eco-check.org/reportcard/chesapeake/.

Today's Report Card was released in parallel with the Chesapeake Bay Program's annual health and restoration assessment. The Bay Program report analyzes Bay health and restoration trends over the long-term, while the Report Card provides a geographic analysis of Bay health conditions in 2007.

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is the principal research institution for advanced environmental research and graduate studies within the University System of Maryland. UMCES researchers are helping improve our scientific understanding of Maryland, the region and the world through its three laboratories - Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, and Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge - and the Maryland Sea Grant College.

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.