New Report Finds High Level of Contaminants in Chesapeake Bay

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The EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Fish and Wildlife Service produced a report on the contamination of the Chesapeake Bay. And it is a doozy. Toxic chemicals have “fully or partially impaired” almost 75 percent of tidal waters. In several areas fish are found loaded with mercury and PCBs — chemicals once used in electrical equipment, whose residue has stuck around long after they were banned. The bay has also seen a rise in the occurrence of intersex fish over the past 12 years. 

The report points out that potentially harmful chemicals from herbicides and pesticides have made their way into the Chesapeake in alarming levels — suggesting that there’s going to be much more to saving the bay than reminding individuals not to throw their trash in the street and placing floating wetlands in the Inner Harbor.

Environmental advocates are calling for more data on the use of herbicides and pesticides, so scientists can better determine “the extent and severity of their contamination,” and fill “dangerous data gaps.”

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