The Chesapeake Bay watershed serves as a critical source of food and drinking water for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, the Bay and its tributaries are being choked by excess nutrients that not only diminish drinking water quality, but also threaten the fragile ecosystems within the entire watershed.
Lawmakers have struggled over the past several decades to devise a strategy to reduce pollution from municipal runoff, farms, overzealous gardeners and other human activity. Run-off from these sources accounts for a significant percentage of all pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Farmers have been working incredibly hard to address the situation, but almost half of the nutrients emitted by livestock is airborne ammonia, which buffers and wastewater treatment plants cannot treat. Even after passing numerous laws and investing billions of dollars, we've seen little progress in stemming the tide against the pollution of one of our nation's most important resources.