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[ Pennsylvania’s 2013 Role in Cleaning Up Chesapeake Bay ]

Pennsylvania continues to be a major player in the health of Chesapeake Bay, and a new report shows progress but still a fragile balance for that body of water.

Harry Campbell, senior scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, says the 2012 State of the Bay Report puts the Bay’s health at a score of 32, up a point from the last report in 2010, but well short of the 70 score that would represent a saved Bay.

“There is a great deal of work left to do, in that we are still in a situation with the Chesapeake Bay that is dangerously out of balance: but we are seeing positive, yet precarious, movements in the right direction.”

Campbell says the 2013 goals in Pennsylvania are helping farmers with agricultural pollution and municipalities with storm-water runoff. He says the report also demonstrates the value of cooperation.

“These improvements that we have seen over recent years demonstrate what can be done when government, businesses and individuals work together in a cooperative, bipartisan way.”

Campbell says that the State of the Bay report is not just an indicator of the health of the Bay, but also of the Susquehanna River and local waterways. And with thousands of Pennsylvanians relying on local waterways for drinking water, everyone has a stake.

“Our children and grandchildren can inherit a restored Chesapeake Bay, a watershed with rivers and streams that feed into it that are clean and healthy and provide a vibrant economy, and for recreational and drinking water uses.”

The report shows improvement in levels of phosphorus pollution and dissolved oxygen. The report also points out that the Susquehanna River provides over half of the fresh water to the Bay, bringing in pollution that originates in Pennsylvania.

See the full report at CBF.org.

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