BALTIMORE (AP) - Heavy rains and a hot summer damged the Chesapeake Bay's environmental record last year.
The University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science gave the bay a D+ on Tuesday in its latest report card on the state of the bay.
The grade is the second lowest since assessments began in 1986. The worst year for bay health was 2003.
The center says heavy spring and fall rains washed pollutions and sediments in to the bay, and a hot dry summer spurred algae blooms that lower oxygen levels.
Last spring, the bay got 42 out of 100 possible points, down from 46 the year before. It's the first drop in four years.
Storms are blamed for the drop because heavy rains carry sediments that can cloud water and bury bay grasses.