Presentation on theme: "December 2002 The Chesapeake Bay: How is it Doing?"— Presentation transcript:
December 2002 The Chesapeake Bay: How is it Doing?
Why Are We Here? Photo of Bay scene (webpage electronic photo image, Ann Lackey, CBPO; 35 mm slide, CBPO) 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.
CBP 12/04/02 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Maryland Delaware New York District of Columbia Virginia West Virginia Pennsylvania
The Bay is Economically Important Photo of harvest scene (webpage electronic photo image, Kate Naughten, CBPO; 35 mm slide, CBPO) 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.
The Bay is Important for Recreation and Tourism photo of recreational use scene (webpage electronic photo image, EPA; 35 mm slide, Steve Delaney, for EPA) It offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.
The Bay Provides Important Habitat for Wildlife photo of habitat scene with wildlife (webpage electronic photo image, EPA; 35 mm slide, USFWS) It provides a huge natural habitat for wildlife.
Where Does the Bay Start? photo of person near creek or culvert in residential area (photo, CBPO) 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!
CBP 12/04/02 Threats to the Bay and Rivers N UTRIENTS S EDIMENTS T OXIC CHEMICALS H ABITAT LOSS O VERFISHING
CBP 12/04/02 Nutrients N itrogen P hosphorus and Are the nutrients causing problems in the Bay.
What Are the Effects of Excess Nutrients? photo of underwater Bay grasses (photo, CBPO) What are the effects of excess nutrients? Bay grasses die.
Bay creatures are affected by low oxygen levels photo of dead fish (webpage electronic photo image, EPA; 35 mm slide, Kent Mountford, CBPO) What are the effects of excess nutrients? Low oxygen levels in Bay waters.
CBP 12/04/02 Status and Trends in Phosphorus Concentrations in the Bay and its Tidal Rivers
CBP 12/04/02 Status and Trends in Nitrogen Concentrations in the Bay and its Tidal Rivers
CBP 12/04/02 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
Cows in Streams photo of farm animals (photo, CBPO) Stormwater and groundwater carry nutrients into rivers and the Bay from a variety of nonpoint sources.
Wastewater Treatment Plant photo of wastewater treatment plant (photo, CBPO) Point sources are the second largest contributors of nutrient pollution to the rivers and the Bay.
Fossil Fuel Power Plant photo of fossil fuel power plant (photo, CBPO) 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.
Automobile Exhaust photo of car tail pipe (photo, Kent Mountford, CBPO) Nitrogen, again in the form of nitrogen oxide gases, comes out of car tail pipes and gets into the air.
Septic Systems photo of residence in rural development (photo, Kate Naughten, CBPO) Another source of nitrogen is septic systems. Many homes in the watershed use underground septic systems for treatment of wastewater and sewage.
CBP 12/04/02 The Bay and its rivers are doing better, but we still have a way to go.
CBP 12/04/02 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 Phosphorus Levels Declining in Some of the Non-tidal Portions of the Rivers
CBP 12/04/02 1980s – 2001 Decreasing No significant trend Increasing 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 rivers show no trends. Nitrogen Levels Declining in Some of the Non-tidal Portions of the Rivers
CBP 12/04/02 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 Sediment Levels Declining in Some of the Non-tidal Portions of the Rivers
CBP 12/04/02 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. Potential Habitat (600,000 acres) * No surveys 1979-83 114 600 Interim Goal (114,000 acres)
CBP 12/04/02 Striped Bass Are Back! 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 Baywide Female Spawning Stock Biomass
CBP 12/04/02 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. Sources: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Pennsylvania Game Commission and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
CBP 12/04/02 Bay Waters are Generally Safe for Fishing and Swimming photo courtesy of Maryland Department of Natural Resources
CBP 12/04/02 The Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership Governor of MD EPA Administrator Governor of VA Governor of PA Executive Council Mayor of DC Chair of Chesapeake Bay Commission
CBP 12/04/02 Bay Cleanup Has Citizen Involvement CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee Citizen Advisory Committee representing the interests of : Business, Industry, Environment, Agriculture, Fisheries, Local Governments, Developers, etc. CHESAPEAKE BAY CLEANUP ALLIANCE FOR THE CHESAPEAKE BAY CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION WATERSHED ORGANIZATIONS LAND TRUSTS CONSERVATION GROUPS
Phosphate Detergent Ban photo of detergent boxes (photo, Kent Mountford, CBPO) After signing the 1983 Bay Agreement, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia instituted phosphate detergent bans.
CBP 12/04/02 Goal: 40% Reduction in Nutrient Pollution by the Year 2000
Best Management Practices photo of sediment control buffer strip (photo, CBPO) 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.
CBP 12/04/02 Farmers Using Nutrient Management Apply Less Nutrients Between 1985 and 2000, more than 2.2 million acres of farmland were placed under nutrient management plans. Acres Under Nutrient Management
Sediment Control and Stormwater Management photo of sediment control fencing used on a construction site (photo, Kent Mountford, CBPO) 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.
CBP 12/04/02 Nutrient Pollution Declining, but We Still Need to Do More 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. Total Nutrient Loads Delivered to the Bay from MD, PA, VA, DC Phosphorus Nitrogen 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. Goal
Restoration and Protection of Habitat and Living Resources photo of riparian forest (webpage electronic photo image, USFS 35 mm slide, Al Todd, CBPO) Since 1987, the Bay Program has committed to "provide for the restoration and protection of living resources, their habitats, and ecological relationships".
Fish Migration Blockages Photo of fish migration blockage (webpage electronic photo image, Kate Naughten, CBPO; 35 mm slide, CBPO) More than 1,000 miles of fish spawning habitat on Chesapeake Bay tributaries are currently blocked by dams, culverts and other obstructions.
CBP 12/04/02 Progress Made Getting Migratory Fish Past 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. 1988 Goal (731 miles) 2003 Goal (1,357 miles)
CBP 12/04/02 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.
CBP 12/04/02 Streamside Forests Being Restored 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 Goal: 2,010 miles 2,283 miles restored 1996 through August 2002. Goal achieved eight years ahead of schedule! Shad Are Starting to Make a Comeback... but have a long, long way to Photo of forest buffer planting (webpage electronic photo image, Don Maglienti, CBPO; 35mm slide, C. Hobbs, NRCS)
CBP 12/04/02 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". Regions of Concern: Areas with known chemical contaminant-related impacts. Baltimore Harbor Anacostia River Elizabeth River
CBP 12/04/02 Status of Chemical Contaminant Effects on Living Resources in the Bay’s Tidal Rivers Chesapeake Bay scientists and managers characterized the status of chemical contaminant effects on living resources in the Bay’s 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.
CBP 12/04/02 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
Crabs Photo of blue crabs (webpage electronic photo image, Kate Naughten, CBPO; 35 mm slide, CBPO) 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.
CBP 12/04/02 Blue Crabs Have Declined Since Early 1990s 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. Mature Female Blue Crabs Average
CBP 12/04/02 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.
Oysters and Aquatic Reef Construction Photo of aquatic reef construction (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz, CBPO 35mm slide, Linda Taylor, USFWS) 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.
CBP 12/04/02 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.
Forest Conservation photo of forest stewardship project (photo, US Forest Service) Many efforts to conserve existing forest have involved responsible management and stewardship.
Wetlands Photo of forested wetland (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz, CBPO 35mm slide, Nita Sylvester, CBPO) 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.
CBP 12/04/02 Wetland Loss Continues In the 1980s we were still losing estuarine wetlands, like tidal marshes, but loss rates were significantly reduced. Loss rates were down from 547 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 from 2,373 acres/year during the 1950s - 1970s, to 2,807 acres/year during the 1980s.
Wetlands Protection Photo of wetland (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz, CBPO; 35 mm slide, CBPO) Protecting our remaining wetlands is vital to restoring the Bay ecosystem.
CBP 12/04/02 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.
CBP 12/04/02 State and local governments play an important role in land use planning and development in the Chesapeake Bay region.
Stormwater Runoff photo of stormwater running off street (photo, CBPO) 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.
CBP 12/04/02 River Flow into Chesapeake Bay Normal Range Wet Years Dry Years 1972 Tropical Storm Agnes 1941 lowest flow on record 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.
CBP 12/04/02 Status and Trends in Water Clarity in the Bay and its Tidal Rivers
CBP 12/04/02 Pfiesteria piscicida is a toxic dinoflagellate that has been associated with fish lesions and fish kills in the coastal waters from Delaware to North Carolina, including Chesapeake Bay. Flagellated Form Photo courtesy of the Aquatic Botany Laboratory, North Carolina State University
BayScape Your Yard Photo of BayScaping (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz, CBPO 35mm slide, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay) 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.
Limit fertilizer use and apply at appropriate times Photo of someone doing a soil test (35mm slide, C. Hobbs, NRCS) 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.
Start a compost pile Photo of compost pile (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz, CBPO 35mm slide,Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay) 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.
Maintain Your Septic System! photo of septic tank pump-out truck (35mm slide, Kent Mountford, CBPO) 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.
Use safer alternatives for cleaning and controlling pests photo of "safer" pest control products (35mm slide, Kent Mountford, CBPO) There are several things you can do to reduce your input of toxics to the watershed. Use safer alternatives for cleaning and controlling pests.
Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste Properly! photo of someone disposing of oil properly photo, CBPO Dispose of your unwanted household chemicals properly. DO NOT POUR THEM DOWN DRAINS!
CBP 12/04/02 Conserve Water, Conserve Energy, and Drive Less!
Plant Trees and Reduce Soil Erosion! Photo of tree planting project (webpage electronic photo image, Don Maglienti, CBPO 35mm slide, Kathi Bangert, USFWS) 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.
Volunteer to Help Plant Beach and Marsh Grasses! Photo of marsh or beach grass planting project (webpage electronic photo image, Tawna Mertz, CBPO 35mm slide, Kate Naughten, CBPO) 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.
Be a Sediment Buster! photo of sediment control violation photo, CBPO Be a "sediment buster"! If you suspect violations of sediment control measures, report the violation. Call your local Planning and Zoning Office.
Be a Responsible Boater! photo of someone using a boat waste pump out facility (35mm slide, Kent Mountford, CBPO) 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.
Avoid disturbing shallow water areas and Bay grass beds photo of "No Wake Zone" sign (35mm slide, Kent Mountford, CBPO) 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.
CBP 12/04/02 WATERSHED WATCH We’re all in it together!
Become a citizen monitor Photo of citizen monitoring activity (webpage electronic photo image, Kate Naughten, CBPO 35 mm slide, CBPO) Get involved by monitoring the water quality of a nearby stream, creek, river or Bayfront. You can also participate in Bay grass monitoring programs.
CBP 12/04/02 Citizens Are Interested in Tracking Progress in Bay Clean-up 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." Bernie Fowler's Sneaker Index
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) Participate in clean up and restoration activities.
Chesapeake Bay Needs YOU! general scenic photo of the Bay (webpage electronic photo image, Kate Naughten, CBPO 35mm slide, Nita Sylvester, CBPO) The Chesapeake Bay needs you!