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Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Faces Unexpected Headwinds

According to the Maryland Reporter, mid-point data show that we are less than a third of the way towards our 2025 goals for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

The major culprits are the Conowingo Dam and climate change. The Conowingo Dam used to trap a significant amount of sediment and nutrient run-off coming down the Susequehanna from Pennsylvania. Now the reservoir behind the dam is filling in and sediment and nutrients flow past the dam and into the Bay unimpeded.

As for climate change, the original mitigation models assumed steady climate conditions from the early 1990 through 2025. Instead, average rainfall between 1990 and 2025 is now predicted to increase by more than 3 percent, which adds significantly to the nutrient load entering the Bay.

Read more about the response by state and federal officials to these new data here.

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