A cargo ship passes the Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay in Skidmore, Maryland. (Photo: Mark Wilson, Getty Images)

MD - Chesapeake Bay health drops to C-minus in new report card

The health of the nation's largest estuary dropped from a C to a C-minus last year in an annual report card released Tuesday on the Chesapeake Bay.

That is the lowest score and first C-minus since 2011. While several indicators of the bay's health improved last year, the report found that they did not offset those that declined.

“Moderate and poor scores in 2019 were mainly due to above-average temperatures almost every month of the year,” the report by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science said.

The heat hurt aquatic grasses and small bottom-dwelling aquatic life and lowered dissolved oxygen levels, the report said.

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