More than twenty years after the historic Chesapeake Bay Agreement set out a roadmap for a coordinated clean-up effort at state and federal levels, the region is struggling to follow it, scientists say.
Panelists speaking at a February 20 session of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC emphasized the importance of an adaptive approach to restoration in the Chesapeake––which scientists call adaptive management, in which ideas and approaches can be tested, checked for success, and adjusted along the way. "We are headed in the right direction, we know where we want to go, but need to be more efficient and accountable in order to get there," says Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
And this modify-as-you-go approach to restoration should be "watershedwide," panelists say, including upland streams and rivers, not only the Bay and its living resources––such as crabs, oysters, and underwater grasses. "What happens every day in backyards and on street corners that are miles and miles from the Bay proper have huge impacts on Bay health," according to ecologist Margaret Palmer from the University of Maryland, College Park. "Restoration of the Bay will not occur unless we stem the loss of headwater streams and freshwater wetlands and restore non-tidal waters," Palmer says.
Jack Greer | EurekAlert!
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