Using Science To Save the Bay

Chesapeake Bay, once described by some as a dying body of water, is much healthier today. West Virginians are among those deserving credit for that.

Meanwhile, however, some other states in the bay watershed are not doing as much to help, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Just a few years ago, the bay, the largest estuary in the nation, was labeled a crisis situation. Pollution and climate change were blamed for large dead zones virtually devoid of aquatic life.

Chesapeake Bay appears to be roaring back to health, according to an assessment released by the EPA.

The amount of underwater grass in the bay is at a record level — at least, compared to measurements that do not go back many years. And, water quality in general is the best it has been in 30 years, according to the EPA.

A strategy aimed at restoring the bay was initiated in 2010, with a goal of having certain pollution control steps implemented by 2025. Halfway through the process, some of the states in the watershed are well on target.

Both West Virginia and Virginia are meeting goals in the overall plan’s four areas, the EPA reports.

Others in the watershed, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, are lagging, the assessment concludes. Pennsylvania, in particular, needs to step up its action to reduce harmful runoff from farms, EPA officials noted.

Better health in the bay is good news. Perhaps the EPA should be asking more questions about why that is so.

Global warming alarmists insist climate change is growing worse by the year. Yet water quality and prevalence of aquatic life — not just plants — appears to have improved by leaps and bounds in the bay.

How important is climate change to the bay’s health, then? It is a valid question, one that should not be ignored in the interest of political correctness.

What about pollution? Is there a scientifically demonstrable link between reductions in it and the bay’s better condition? Again, it is worth another look.

West Virginians — again, among those in just two states that have, in effect, followed orders regarding the bay — are entitled to ask such questions.

Of course Chesapeake Bay’s water quality is important. No one denies that. But let improving it be based on science, not political pressure.

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