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New data shows Chesapeake streams in bad health

Most streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are in poor condition or worse.

That’s according to new data released Monday by the Chesapeake Bay Program, the regional partnership that leads restoration efforts.

Sampling of nearly 8,000 stream sites between 2000 and 2008 found 55 percent were in poor or very poor condition. Twenty-seven percent were found in excellent or good condition.

The regional partnership also released data showing reductions in key pollutants over the past 25 years.

Nitrogen and phosphorus reductions have been detected at 70 percent of monitoring sites throughout the bay watershed while cuts in sediment, which can cloud water and bury bay grasses, were noted at 40 percent of the 32 monitoring sites. However, levels of the three are still well above restoration goals.