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Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Discharges Decreasing

ChesapeakePennsylvania has continued to reduce nutrient and sediment loading into the Chesapeake Bay watershed, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) released its annual Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model progress run results for 2013, which shows the estimated amounts of phosphorous, nitrogen and sediment conveyed to the Chesapeake Bay.

According to the model results, Pennsylvania has exceeded the Watershed Model Milestone for phosphorous reductions by approximately 5.1 percent. Results also indicate that the state narrowly missed 2013 milestones for nitrogen by 1.8 percent and sediment by 4.8 percent.

Also, Pennsylvania has continued to see a downward trend for all three pollutants. Since 1985, the watershed model indicates that Pennsylvania has reduced phosphorous loadings by 25 percent, nitrogen by 10 percent and sediment by 15 percent, while experiencing significant growth in the Chesapeake Basin.

This trend is supported by data like the long-term monitoring conducted by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which indicates positive, downward trends in phosphorous, nitrogen and sediment at Pennsylvania monitoring stations in the bay watershed.

Photo: NASA Goddard Flickr photostream

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