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Weather continues to impact bay water quality

The Chesapeake Bay Program announced last week that only an estimated third of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries met water quality standards attainment during the 2017-2019 assessment period.

The 33 percent score is lower than the previous assessment period (2016-2018), when bay water quality standards attainment was estimated to be 38 percent. Experts mainly attribute this decline to unusually wet weather in 2018 and 2019.

The Chesapeake Bay Program strives to reach 100 percent attainment of water quality standards to support the survival, growth and reproduction of aquatic species important to a healthy bay. Currently, 67 percent of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal waters are likely to be impaired.

The Chesapeake Bay Program evaluates water quality standards attainment using three parameters: dissolved oxygen, water clarity or underwater grass abundance, and Chlorophyll A (a measure of algae growth). Over the period 2017-2019, a decline in dissolved oxygen was no...

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