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The Chesapeake Bay: How is it Doing?

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Title: No Slide Title Author: Nita Sylvester Last modified by: nsylvest Created Date: 7/26/1999 12:10:21 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Chesapeake Bay: How is it Doing?


1
The Chesapeake BayHow is it Doing?
The Chesapeake BayHow is it Doing?
December 2002
2
Why Are We Here?
The Chesapeake Bay is a beautiful place. By
protecting the Bay, we are more likely to
preserve our economy and the health of the living
things that call the Bay home.
  • Photo of Bay scene
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Ann Lackey,
    CBPO
  • 35 mm slide, CBPO)

3
Chesapeake Bay Watershed
New York
Pennsylvania
Maryland
Delaware
West Virginia
District of Columbia
Virginia
4
The Bay is Economically Important
The Bay is important for many reasons. It helps
to support the region's economy as a major source
of seafood and a major hub for shipping and
commerce.
  • Photo of harvest scene
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Kate Naughten,
    CBPO
  • 35 mm slide, CBPO)

5
The Bay is Important for Recreation and Tourism
It offers a wide variety of recreational
opportunitiesfor residents and visitors.
  • photo of recreational use scene
  • (webpage electronic photo image, EPA
  • 35 mm slide, Steve Delaney, for EPA)

6
The Bay Provides Important Habitat for Wildlife
It provides a huge natural habitat for wildlife.
  • photo of habitat scene with wildlife
  • (webpage electronic photo image, EPA
  • 35 mm slide, USFWS)

7
Where Does the Bay Start?
Where does the Bay start? If you are one of the
15 million people who live in the watershed, then
the Bay starts in your backyard!
  • photo of person near creek or culvert in
    residential area
  • (photo, CBPO)

8
Threats to the Bay and Rivers
NUTRIENTS
SEDIMENTS
TOXIC CHEMICALS
HABITAT LOSS
OVERFISHING
9
Nutrients
Nitrogen
and
Phosphorus
Are the nutrients causing problems in the Bay.
10
What Are the Effects of Excess Nutrients?
What are the effects of excess nutrients? Bay
grasses die.
  • photo of underwater Bay grasses
  • (photo, CBPO)

11
Bay creatures are affected by low oxygen levels
What are the effects of excess nutrients? Low
oxygen levels in Bay waters.
  • photo of dead fish
  • (webpage electronic photo image, EPA
  • 35 mm slide, Kent Mountford, CBPO)

12
Status and Trendsin Phosphorus Concentrationsin
the Bay and its Tidal Rivers
13
Status and Trendsin Nitrogen Concentrationsin
the Bay andits Tidal Rivers
14
Sources of Pollutants to the Bay
Nonpoint Sources
  • Run-off from farmland
  • Run-off from lawns and paved areas

Point Sources
  • Industry
  • Wastewater Treatment Plants

15
Cows in Streams
Stormwater and groundwater carry nutrients into
rivers and the Bay from a variety of nonpoint
sources.
  • photo of farm animals
  • (photo, CBPO)

16
Wastewater Treatment Plant
Point sources are the second largest contributors
of nutrient pollution to the rivers and the Bay.
  • photo of wastewater treatment plant
  • (photo, CBPO)

17
Fossil Fuel Power Plant
A significant amount of nitrogen pollution is
created when we generate electricity and drive
cars. Generating electric power by burning
fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, releases
nitrogen, in the form of nitrogen oxide gas, into
the air.
  • photo of fossil fuel power plant
  • (photo, CBPO)

18
Automobile Exhaust
Nitrogen, again in the form of nitrogen oxide
gases, comes out of car tail pipes and gets into
the air.
  • photo of car tail pipe
  • (photo, Kent Mountford, CBPO)

19
Septic Systems
Another source of nitrogen is septic
systems. Many homes in the watershed use
underground septic systems for treatment of
wastewater and sewage.
  • photo of residence in rural development
  • (photo, Kate Naughten, CBPO)

20
The Bay and its rivers are doing better, but we
still have a way to go.
21
Phosphorus Levels Declining in Some of the
Non-tidal Portions of the Rivers
Monitoring data from major rivers entering tidal
waters of Chesapeake Bay show that phosphorus
concentrations are decreasing in portions of the
Susquehanna River, in the Patuxent, Rappahannock
and James rivers and the Mattaponi (a tributary
to the York). The Potomac River and Pamunkey (a
tributary to the York) show increasing
trends. The Appomattox (a tributary to the James)
and the rest of the Susquehanna show no trends.
1980s 2001 Decreasing No significant
trend Increasing
22
Nitrogen Levels Declining in Some of the
Non-tidal Portions of the Rivers
Monitoring data from major rivers entering tidal
waters of Chesapeake Bay show that nitrogen
concentrations are decreasing in the Susquehanna,
Potomac, Patuxent, Mattaponi (a tributary to the
York), and James rivers. The Pamunkey (a
tributary to the York) shows an increasing
trend. The remaining riversshow no trends.
1980s 2001 Decreasing No significant
trend Increasing
23
Sediment Levels Declining in Some of the
Non-tidal Portions of the Rivers
Monitoring data from major rivers entering tidal
waters of Chesapeake Bay show that sediment
concentrations are decreasing in portions of the
Susquehanna River and in the Patuxent and Potomac
rivers. The Pamunkey (a tributary to the York)
and Appomattox (a tributary to the James) show an
increasing trend. The remaining rivers and the
rest of the Susquehanna show no trends.
1980s 2001 Decreasing No significant
trend Increasing
24
Bay Grasses Have Increased Since 1984
Bay grass beds are vital habitat for fish and
crabs. Improved water quality will promote Bay
grass growth.
Note Hatched area of bar includes estimated
additional acreage.
25
Striped Bass Are Back!
Baywide Female Spawning Stock Biomass
Striped bass have responded to a moratorium
followed by harvest restrictions, stocking
efforts and improved habitat conditions. The
stock was declared restored in January 1995!
Fishing moratoria MD DE 1985-1990 VA
1989-1990
26
Bald Eagle Populations on the Rebound!
Actions to control chemical contaminants have led
to improved conditions in the Bay. Bald eagles
are no longer endangered due to the ban on the
pesticide DDT and subsequent habitat improvements.
27
Bay Waters are Generally Safefor Fishing and
Swimming
photo courtesy of Maryland Department of Natural
Resources
28
The Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership
Governor of MD
Governor of VA
Governor of PA
Mayor of DC
EPA Administrator
Executive Council
Chair of Chesapeake Bay Commission
29
Bay Cleanup Has Citizen Involvement
CHESAPEAKEBAY PROGRAM Scientific and Technical
Advisory Committee Citizen Advisory Committee
representing the interests of Business,
Industry, Environment, Agriculture, Fisheries,
Local Governments, Developers, etc.
ALLIANCE FOR THE CHESAPEAKE BAY
CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION
WATERSHED ORGANIZATIONS LAND TRUSTS CONSERVATION
GROUPS
CHESAPEAKE BAY CLEANUP
30
Phosphate Detergent Ban
After signing the 1983 Bay Agreement , Maryland,
Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of
Columbia instituted phosphate detergent bans.
  • photo of detergent boxes
  • (photo, Kent Mountford, CBPO)

31
Goal40 Reduction in Nutrient Pollutionby the
Year 2000
32
Best Management Practices
As partners in the restoration effort, many
farmers are using a variety of techniques, called
"best management practices", to reduce nutrients
and sediment coming from farms into the Bay and
its rivers.
  • photo of sediment control buffer strip
  • (photo, CBPO)

33
Farmers Using Nutrient ManagementApply Less
Nutrients
Acres Under Nutrient Management
Between 1985 and 2000, more than 2.2 million
acres of farmland were placed under nutrient
management plans.
34
Sediment Control and Stormwater Management
The use of sediment control fencing around
building and road construction sites has been
very successful in reducing nutrient and sediment
loads from nonpoint sources.
  • photo of sediment control fencing used on a
    construction site
  • (photo, Kent Mountford, CBPO)

35
Nutrient Pollution Declining,but We Still Need
to Do More
Total Nutrient Loads Delivered to the Bay from
MD, PA, VA, DC
Nitrogen
Phosphorus
Maintaining reduced nutrient loads will be a
challenge due to expected population growth in
the region. New goals will be established soon
for additional reductions of nutrients, as well
as sediment, to be achieved by 2010.
Goal
Goal
Source Chesapeake Bay Program Phase 4.3
Watershed Model. Data include total nutrient
loads delivered to the Bay, from point and
nonpoint sources, from Chesapeake Bay Agreement
jurisdictions MD, PA, VA and DC.
36
Restoration and Protection of Habitat and Living
Resources
Since 1987, the Bay Program has committed to
"provide for the restoration and protection of
living resources, their habitats, and ecological
relationships".
  • photo of riparian forest
  • (webpage electronic photo image, USFS
  • 35 mm slide, Al Todd, CBPO)

37
Fish Migration Blockages
More than 1,000 miles of fish spawning habitat on
Chesapeake Bay tributaries are currently blocked
by dams, culverts and other obstructions.
  • Photo of fish migration blockage
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Kate Naughten,
    CBPO
  • 35 mm slide, CBPO)

38
Progress Made Getting Migratory FishPast Dams
and Other Blockages
The removal of stream blockages and construction
of fish passages, between 1988 and 2001, reopened
33 new miles of historic spawning habitat to
migratory fish, and an additional 7 miles to
resident fish. Total miles made available to
migratory fish since 1988 is 849 with an
additional 143 miles to resident fish.
39
Shad Are Starting to Make a Comeback...but have
a long, long way to go
The increase since 1980 has been attributed to
stocking efforts, a moratorium on shad fishing,
and fish passage development on the Susquehanna
River.
40
Streamside Forests Being Restored
Shad Are Starting to Make a Comeback...but have
a long, long way to
Forests along streams and shoreline, also known
as riparian forest buffers, protect water quality
by filtering pollutants carried by stormwater and
groundwater. They also provide habitat and food
for many creatures that live in the Bay
watershed. In 1996, the Bay Program partners
committed to conserving existing forests along
all streams and shorelines and restoring riparian
forests on 2,010 miles of stream and shoreline in
the watershed by 2010.
Year 2010 Goal2,010 miles
2,283 miles restored 1996 through August
2002. Goal achieved eight years ahead of schedule!
Photo of forest buffer planting (webpage
electronic photo image, Don Maglienti, CBPO 35mm
slide, C. Hobbs, NRCS)
41
Toxics-Free Bay
42
Regions of Concern
The most severe chemical contamination problems
in the Bay are generally limited to those areas
located near urban centers close to the Bay the
Baltimore Harbor and the Anacostia and Elizabeth
rivers. The Bay Program is directing reduction
and prevention actions toward these areas, known
as "Regions of Concern".
Baltimore Harbor
Anacostia River
Regions of Concern Areas with known chemical
contaminant-related impacts.
Elizabeth River
43
Status of Chemical Contaminant Effectson Living
Resources in the Bays Tidal Rivers
Chesapeake Bay scientists and managers
characterized the status of chemical contaminant
effects on living resources in the Bays tidal
rivers based on all available chemical
contaminant data. The result of this
characterization, summarized in this map, will be
used by Chesapeake Bay Program decision makers to
target specific tidal rivers for monitoring and
management efforts.
44
Industry Reduces Chemical Releases
Bay basin industries have achieved their
voluntary goal of reducing releases and transfers
of chemical contaminants 65 between 1988 and
2000. Since the year 2000 goal has been achieved,
the Chesapeake Bay Program has consulted with
industry to set new targets.
Year 2000 Measurement of Progress
45
We Still Have More Work to Do
46
Crabs
The Chesapeake Bay blue crab fisheries are
valuable. They provide significant economic
benefits for many people in the region. They are
also an important part of the region's heritage.
  • Photo of blue crabs
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Kate Naughten,
    CBPO
  • 35 mm slide, CBPO)

47
Blue Crabs Have Declined Since Early 1990s
Mature Female Blue Crabs
Mature female abundance is well below the long
term average and has declined since the early
1990s. The abundance in 2000 and 2001 is at or
near historical lows. Action needs to be taken
to reduce fishing effort as a way to reduce
fishing mortality.
Average
48
Oysters at Risk
Oyster harvests are approximately 4 of the
harvest highs recorded in the 1950s. Declines are
due to overharvest, disease, pollution and loss
of oyster reef habitat.
49
Oysters and Aquatic Reef Construction
Bay Program partners are constructing underwater
reefs to provide habitat for oysters and the
other animals and plants that rely on these reefs
for their survival.
  • Photo of aquatic reef construction
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz,
    CBPO
  • 35mm slide, Linda Taylor, USFWS)

50
Forest Acreage Declining
Forests provide critical habitat and help prevent
pollutants and sediment from reaching the Bay and
rivers. About 59 of the Bay basin is currently
forested. The forest that regrew from the 19th to
the mid-20th centuries is steadily declining.
Current losses represent permanent conversions.
51
Forest Conservation
Many efforts to conserve existing forest have
involved responsible management and stewardship.
  • photo of forest stewardship project
  • (photo, US Forest Service)

52
Wetlands
Wetlands are vital habitats for many plants and
animals. Wetlands directly benefit people by
improving water quality, reducing flood and storm
damages, minimizing erosion and supporting
tourism and the hunting and fishing industries.
  • Photo of forested wetland
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz,
    CBPO
  • 35mm slide, Nita Sylvester, CBPO)

53
Wetland Loss Continues
In the 1980s we were still losingestuarine
wetlands, like tidal marshes,but loss rates were
significantly reduced.Loss rates were down
from547 acres/year during the 1950s - 1970s,to
5 acres/year during the 1980s. However,
freshwater wetlands, like forested swamps, were
lost at an increasing rate.Loss rates were up
from2,373 acres/year during the 1950s -
1970s,to 2,807 acres/year during the 1980s.
54
Wetlands Protection
Protecting our remaining wetlands is vital to
restoringthe Bay ecosystem.
  • Photo of wetland
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz,
    CBPO
  • 35 mm slide, CBPO)

55
Patterns of Land Use and Consumption of Natural
Resources Threaten Our Progress
Low density, single-use development, often called
sprawl, tends to use "resource lands", such as
forests, farms and wetlands. This impacts the
water quality of local waterways and the Bay, as
well as the region's economy and heritage. These
development trends also have resulted in people
driving farther to reach jobs and services,
leading to increases in vehicle miles traveled.
56
State and local governmentsplay an important
role inland use planning and development in
theChesapeake Bay region.
57
Stormwater Runoff
As more and more of the watershed is developed,
vegetated lands, such as forests, wetlands and
farmland are converted to roads, parking lots,
rooftops and other "impervious" surfaces.
  • photo of stormwater running off street
  • (photo, CBPO)

58
River Flow into Chesapeake Bay
Since 1972, there have been many years with
higher than average freshwater flow to the
Bay. Higher flows, depending on the time of year
that they occur, can deliver increased amounts of
sediment and nutrients to the Bay.
59
Status and Trendsin Water Clarity in the Bay
andits Tidal Rivers
60
Pfiesteria piscicidais a toxic
dinoflagellatethat has been associated with fish
lesions and fish killsin the coastal waters from
Delaware to North Carolina, including Chesapeake
Bay.
Flagellated Form Photo courtesy of the Aquatic
Botany Laboratory, North Carolina State University
61
You Can Help
62
BayScape Your Yard
There are several things you can do to reduce
your input of nutrients to the rivers and
Bay. "BayScape" your yard by planting native
vegetation that uses less fertilizer, pesticides
and water.
  • Photo of BayScaping
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz,
    CBPO
  • 35mm slide, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay)

63
Limit fertilizer use and apply at appropriate
times
Use fertilizer wisely. Have your soil tested and
ask for recommendations for the best time and
amount of fertilizer to apply for your particular
landscaping needs. Never apply more than is
needed.
  • Photo of someone doing a soil test
  • (35mm slide, C. Hobbs, NRCS)

64
Start a compost pile
If you have room, start a compost pile in your
backyard. By using a compost pile instead of a
garbage disposal, you will reduce your nutrient
inputs to the watershed.
  • Photo of compost pile
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz,
    CBPO
  • 35mm slide,Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay)

65
Maintain Your Septic System!
If you have a septic system, be sure to have it
pumped out every three to five years. This will
allow your septic tank to operate efficiently.
  • photo of septic tank pump-out truck
  • (35mm slide, Kent Mountford, CBPO)

66
Use safer alternatives for cleaning and
controlling pests
There are several things you can do to reduce
your input of toxics to the watershed. Use safer
alternatives for cleaning and controlling pests.
  • photo of "safer" pest control products
  • (35mm slide, Kent Mountford, CBPO)

67
Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste Properly!
Dispose of your unwanted household chemicals
properly. DO NOT POUR THEM DOWN DRAINS!
  • photo of someone disposing of oil properly
  • photo, CBPO

68
Conserve Water, Conserve Energy, and Drive Less!
69
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!
70
Plant Trees and Reduce Soil Erosion!
Plant trees and reduce soil erosion! Reducing
erosion will not only reduce the amount of
sediments entering the streams, creeks, rivers
and the Bay, but also the amount of nutrients and
toxic chemicals entering the watershed.
  • Photo of tree planting project
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Don Maglienti,
    CBPO
  • 35mm slide, Kathi Bangert, USFWS)

71
Volunteer to Help Plant Beach and Marsh Grasses!
Volunteer to help plant beach and marsh grasses.
This will not only help reduce erosion, but also
help reduce nutrient and toxic inputs to the
watershed. Beach and marsh grasses also provide
beneficial habitat for many creatures that live
in the watershed.
  • Photo of marsh or beach grass planting project
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz,
    CBPO
  • 35mm slide, Kate Naughten, CBPO)

72
Be a Sediment Buster!
Be a "sediment buster"! If you suspect violations
of sediment control measures, report the
violation. Call your local Planning and Zoning
Office.
  • photo of sediment control violation
  • photo, CBPO

73
Be a Responsible Boater!
Be a responsible boater! Pump out waste to
onshore facilities. Don't pump bilges laden with
chemicals and oil into the Bay or its rivers.
Use extreme caution when refueling or when using
cleansers, paint, and antifouling compounds on
your boat. Dispose of trash properly.
  • photo of someone using a boat waste pump out
    facility
  • (35mm slide, Kent Mountford, CBPO)

74
Avoid disturbing shallow water areasand Bay
grass beds
Observe posted speed limits and be responsible
for your wake. This will help prevent erosion
and habitat destruction. Avoid disturbing shallow
water areas and Bay grass beds.
  • photo of "No Wake Zone" sign
  • (35mm slide, Kent Mountford, CBPO)

75
Get Involved
76
WATERSHEDWATCH
  • Were all in it together!

77
Become a citizen monitor
Get involved by monitoring the water quality of a
nearby stream, creek, river or Bayfront. You can
also participate in Bay grass monitoring programs.
  • Photo of citizen monitoring activity
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Kate Naughten,
    CBPO
  • 35 mm slide, CBPO)

78
Citizens Are Interested in Tracking Progress in
Bay Clean-up
Bernie Fowler's Sneaker Index
Wading into the Patuxent River at Broomes Island,
MD, Bernie Fowler has seen improvements in water
clarity since 1988. He says, "although this is
not a scientific measure, it puts restoring the
river on a human scale."
79
Participate in clean up and restoration activities
Participate in clean up and restoration
activities.
  • Photo of group restoration or clean up project
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Don Maglienti,
    CBPO
  • 35mm slide, Mason, USFWS)

80
Chesapeake Bay Needs YOU!
The Chesapeake Bay needs you!
  • general scenic photo of the Bay
  • (webpage electronic photo image, Kate Naughten,
    CBPO
  • 35mm slide, Nita Sylvester, CBPO)
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