To protect the public and the environment from toxic releases, America should prevent pollution by requiring industries to reduce their use of toxic chemicals and restore and strengthen Clean Water Act protections for all of America’s waterways.
More than 25 years since the Chesapeake Bay Agreement of December 1983 created a region-wide partnership "to improve and protect the water quality and living resources of the Chesapeake Bay," the bay's water quality has not improved, and communities that rely on a clean, sustainable bay are paying a high price for the lack of progress.
Pollution is a major cause of the bay's problems. Fertilizer-laden runoff from farms and lawns, as well as discharge from sewage treatment plants, flows into the bay. This fuels algae blooms, using up oxygen in the water and creating unnaturally large dead zones—areas where dissolved oxygen levels in the water are so low aquatic creatures flee or die. Sediment from farms, roads, and construction sites further pollutes the bay.