WAY is a coalition of stakeholders being innovative leaders encouraging watershed-based planning, restoration and protection in York County, Pennsylvania, and beyond.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bay Barometer

The Bay Program's 2009 Bay Barometer shows that the Bay continues to be degraded and illustrates a clear need to continue to accelerate restoration efforts across the region. The “Bay Barometer: A Health and Restoration Assessment of the Chesapeake Bay and Watershed” is the annual assessment of the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership's progress toward meeting its health and restoration goals.

Bay Barometer is divided into four distinct parts:

  • Bay Health, which provides information about the status of Bay water quality, habitats and lower food web, and fish and shellfish abundance.
  • Watershed Health, a summary of the health of freshwater streams throughout the Bay watershed and pollution trends in those streams.
  • Factors Impacting Bay and Watershed Health, which explains contributors to pollution in the Bay and its rivers.
  • Restoration and Protection Efforts, a summary of the Bay Program’s efforts to reduce pollution, restore habitats, manage fisheries, protect watersheds and foster stewardship.

Additionally, Bay Barometer includes sections on the health of freshwater streams and rivers throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed, factors that affect the health of our waters, and what the 17 million residents of the Bay watershed can do to make a difference in the restoration effort.

Last year (2009) was indeed a banner year for the Chesapeake Bay in many ways.

  • At its annual meeting in May, the Chesapeake Executive Council began charting a new course for recovery of the Bay and its watershed by setting short-term goals to accelerate cleanup and increase accountability. Under these “milestones,” the six Bay watershed states and the District of Columbia will put actions into place to reduce a projected 15.8 million pounds of nitrogen and 1.1 million pounds of phosphorus by the end of 2011.
  • We also saw the beginning of a new era of federal leadership on the Chesapeake Bay with the signing of President Obama’s Executive Order on Chesapeake Bay Restoration and Protection. Eleven federal agencies are working together to reduce pollution to our waterways; restore fish, wildlife and habitats; conserve land; and expand public access.

And so we must keep moving on the path of forward-thinking actions and expansive involvement. These and other critical initiatives will help us continue marching toward our

restoration goals with each passing year. But we can’t do it alone.

I urge everybody reading this report to get involved today in restoring our Bay and its thousands of streams, creeks and rivers. Let’s all take the small steps listed on page 11 of this report to reduce pollution from our homes and backyards and make a difference in our communities. Most importantly, tell your friends and families that they, too, can bring positive change for the Bay by lending a hand to help restore and protect it.

To learn more about the ongoing efforts to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay and its Watersheds, you may read and download the “Bay Barometer: A Health and Restoration Assessment of the Chesapeake Bay and Watershed in 2009” at

Also, I'd like to hear from you and what you think could/should be done to restore and protect the Watersheds of York County, Pennsylvania.

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