Report: Chesapeake Bay improving but huge challenges remain

Written by The Associated Press | May 30, 2018 12:45 PM

Boaters fish on the Susquehanna River just off the boat launch in Wrightsville along the Mason-Dixon Trail. Parts of the river are threatened by invasive species and pollution. (Photo: Kate Penn, Kate Penn, York Daily Record)

(Norfolk, Va.) -- A nonprofit that tracks pollution in America's largest estuary says the health of Chesapeake Bay is improving, but huge challenges remain.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has released a midpoint assessment of a federal plan to curb pollution flowing into the watershed by 2025. States are required to cut phosphorous, nitrogen and sediment from treated wastewater as well as runoff from farms and cities.

The good news in the  report is that the bay's oxygen dead zone is shrinking. Underwater grasses and oysters are making a comeback. Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia have reduced pollution coming from sewage treatment plants.

But the foundation asserts the states -- and Pennsylvania in particular -- are not doing enough to tackle the pollution running off farms.

The Susquehanna River is the bay's largest tributary.

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