This week, the Chesapeake Bay Program released its annual Bay Barometer report. Along with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's annual State of the Bay and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Chesapeake Bay Report Card, the Bay Program's report closes out the assessments of the Bay for 2016 (for what it's worth, CPR Member Scholar Rena Steinzor and I released our own assessment last year).
The Bay Barometer is chock full of charts describing the progress (and lack thereof) being made toward the many water quality, ecologic, and wildlife outcomes established by states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. While glancing through several of the graphs in the Barometer report, I wondered: Which graphs would I use to convey a sense of progress? What would be my "chart of the year" for 2016?
For me, that chart-of-the-year honor has to go to a series I found in a press release by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last June. But before I introduce and describe the charts, a bit of background on the subject is in order.
One of the central questions for those who study Bay restoration is, How will the ecosystem respond to the pollution reductions prescribed for the Bay watershed through this "pollution diet"?
Academic, government, and private-sector scientists and engineers have a pretty good grasp of causality or directionality: X --> Y --> Z. If we spend our environmental restoration dollars on ...