New Insights: Science-based evidence of water quality improvements, challenges, and opportunities in the Chesapeake (Executive Summary)
Over the past several decades, scientists, natural resource managers, and the general public have become increasingly aware of, and concerned for the impaired health of the Chesapeake Bay. The degradation of water quality and habitat conditions throughout the Bay led to the development, and subsequent publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment- also known as a 'pollution diet.' The resultant implementation of the jurisdictions' watershed implementation plans has reinforced the need to understand the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs) to ensure compliance with local and regional water quality load allocations and targets. This report summarizes results from more than 40 case studies in the Chesapeake Bay watershed where water quality monitoring was conducted to detect benefits from implementation of best management practices.