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Despite a year of above-average rainfall and record heat, the overall health of Chesapeake Bay held steady in 2013. Overall, the Chesapeake scored a C, nearly the same score as the previous year, which was up from a D+ and C- in previous years. The heavy rainfall in 2013 contributed to murkier water conditions, in addition to a higher amount of chlorophyll. Total nitrogen scores are improving over time, while aquatic grasses rebounded from lower scores assessed in 2012. The report card rates 15 reporting regions of the Bay using seven indicators that are combined into a single overarching index of health. This year's report card also introduces a Climate Change Resilience Index to measure the resilience of Chesapeake Bay to the impacts of climate change. Resiliency is the ability of an ecosystem to withstand change in its environment. The Climate Change Resilience Index links several climate change impacts to key indicators in the Bay.
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