The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will release the 2014 State of the Bay report on January 5 at a 10:30 a.m. press conference at CBF headquarters in Annapolis.
The biennial State of the Bay Report is a comprehensive measure of the Bay's health, evaluating the following indicators: oysters, shad, crabs, striped bass (rockfish), underwater grasses, wetlands, forested buffers, resource lands, toxics, water clarity, dissolved oxygen, and phosphorus and nitrogen pollution.
CBF scientists compile and examine the best available historical and up-to-date information for each indicator and assign it an index score, between 1 and 100. Taken together, these indicators offer an assessment of Bay health.
CBF will also discuss priorities for 2015. In Pennsylvania, CBF’s priorities include:
— Ensuring Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection, County Conservation Districts, and local partners work to assure robust outreach and education, technical and financial assistance, and compliance with state water quality laws and regulations by farmers in the Commonwealth. It is estimated that a substantial percentage of farms still are lacking required pollution prevention and reduction plans and have long waits for assistance.
— Promoting new efforts to accelerate the planting of forest buffers and other core pollution reducing practices. In Pennsylvania forested stream buffers were established at a rate of six acres per day from 2009 to 2013, but must increase to a rate of fifty acres per day through 2017 to meet the goal the Commonwealth set.— Updating Pennsylvania’s Phosphorus Index to reduce over-application of phosphorus fertilizer on farm fields that can pollute streams and the Bay.