Chesapeake Bay health grade falls to 'D-plus'

Published 01-07-2019

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An annual report on the Chesapeake Bay says pollution from unusually heavy rains last year contributed to the first decline in a decade in the overall health of the nation's largest estuary.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Will Baker said Monday the bay "suffered a massive assault last year," when large amounts of debris were flushed into the bay, mostly from Pennsylvania. The bay's grade sank from C-minus to D-plus, which is the first decline of a grade in a decade.

But Baker says there is some good news. He says the bay appears to be developing resilience that may help it overcome long-term damage.

The 2018 State of the Bay report says bay grasses remain intact. Additionally, recent studies show an improving trend in underwater dead zones.

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