No, this is not about the movies starring Nicholas Cage. Unfortunately, this is real and actually very sad that we have allowed the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest watershed to reach this level of pollution.
At 7,000 square miles it supports more than 3,600 species of plants, fish and animals, with 15 million people living near its basin, the Chesapeake Bay is one of the U.S. most important watersheds. It is also one of the dirtiest.
Recent surveys have revealed more than 80 percent of the water does not contain enough oxygen in the summer, killing off fish, crabs, oysters and plant life. The Chesapeake Bay Initiative, a multi-state agreement, was developed to change that.
As part of the agreement, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia have agreed to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous discharge into the bay area by 2010.
Over 70 wastewater facilities will have to enhance their nutrient removal process by using more natural methods, like bacteria, instead of harmful chemicals. These efforts, along with groups like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, are part of a larger commitment to restore the bay to its original condition.