Chesapeake Bay Program

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A $1.1 trillion budget bill that would keep the federal government running through September fully funds the program that has coordinated Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts for decades.

The bill contains $73 million for the Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program, which President Donald Trump has called for defunding.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - More than $3 million in Chesapeake Bay conservation grants will support brook trout habitat restoration in Rockingham County and efforts to reduce sediment in the James River.

Chesapeake Bay Program

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Scientists say an indicator of the Chesapeake Bay's health - underwater grasses - has reversed a three-year downward trend.

The Chesapeake Bay Program released its annual report on underwater grasses on Monday. The program says the abundance of underwater grasses increased 24 percent between 2012 and 2013.

Underwater grasses are considered critical to the bay ecosystem because they offer food to small invertebrates and migratory birds and shelter for young fish and blue crabs.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

There are signs of recovery in the Chesapeake Bay.

Bay grasses, crabs and rockfish are all showing resilience, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program.

The grasses in particularly in the large Susquehanna Flats near the top of the bay not only survived a tropical storm two years ago but have been coming back in a dramatic way in the mid-bay areas.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the latest survey still found that only 34 percent of the bay met the standards for water oxygen levels while water clarity was still deemed very poor.

Sediment from the Conowingo Dam is threatening the efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

Bruce Michael with the Department of Natural Resources said that Exelon must take into account the flow of as part of the relicensing of its hydro-electric power plant.

Exelon’s license expires in September 2014 and Michael said that the sediments behind the dam have been identified as the highest priority issue for relisencing.

A new study by the Chesapeake Bay Program found that sediment from the dam was increasing.


      BALTIMORE (AP) - Chesapeake Bay scientists say underwater grasses declined more than 20 percent last year, a blow to many fish and other species that need the grass to live or breed.

     Heavy rains and snow melt that sent tons of mud and debris into the bay and extreme summer heat are being blamed for the loss of the key habitat.