Maryland's Bay Cleanup Progress

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Maryland has made steady progress reducing nutrient pollution since 1985.
Source - CAST 2019

Nutrient Cleanup Progress

Maryland works to cleanup nutrient and sediment pollution under its Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan. State agencies track these nutrient reductions through the Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool (CAST)​ (leaving MDE) as a way to measure Bay cleanup progress.
 

In 2018, Maryland made the following nutrient cleanup progress:

  • ​Nitrogen

    Maryland has reduced 31.4 million pounds of nitrogen since 1985 and is on track to achieve its 2025 nitrogen target. Between the start of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL in 2010 and 2018, Maryland reduced nitrogen by 5.4 million pounds. Maryland's Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) addresses the 6.9 million pounds of nitrogen left to reach the 2025 nitrogen target.

  • Phosphorus

    Maryland has reduced 3.8 million pounds of phosphorus since 1985 and has achieved its 2025 phosphorus target. Between the start of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL in 2010 and 2018, Maryland reduced phosphorus by 0.39 million pounds. Phosphorus reductions will continue as Maryland works towards its nutrient targets under its Phase III WIP.

  • Sediments

    Maryland has already achieved its 2025 sediment target. Because sediment and phosphorus are reduced using the same practices, Maryland is able to address its sediment loads by reducing phosphorus loads. Sediment reductions will continue as Maryland works towards its nutrient targets under its Phase III WIP.


 

Local Benefits of Bay Cleanup Practices

In addition to restoring Chesapeake Bay water quality, there are many local benefits to implementing pollution reduction measures including:
  • Flood Control
  • Improved Fishing
  • Land Value
  • Local Water Quality
  • Public Health
  • Recreational Activities


  

Life in the Bay Measures Cleanup Progress

The health of living plants and animals in the Bay reflects the overall health of Chesapeake Bay. Life in the Chesapeake is highly sensitive to nutrient pollution. As Maryland and other states reduce nutrient pollution, many species are showing notable signs of improvement and others are just beginning to return to the Chesapeake’s waters. Scientists can use these biological indicators alongside measures of nutrient reduction to track Bay cleanup progress.


Visit Chesapeake Progress to learn more about biological progress indicators (leaving MDE).


 

Contact Information

Please direct questions or comments to Michael Miles.​