How much is a polluted Chesapeake Bay costing us?

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What are the benefits to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay? I usually focus on the biological and ecological benefits to watershed cleanup, but the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has been looking at economic benefits. They released a report earlier this month estimating that cleaning up the Bay could result in earnings of $130 billion dollars each year for states in the watershed. On the other hand, failing to enforce pollution diets or follow the 2010 Clean Water Blueprint, will result in billions of lost dollars in the region.

The report estimates the economic benefits from watershed cleanup and regulation will improve recreational opportunities; support local businesses, restaurants and watermen; and reduce risks associated with flooding, air pollution and climate instability. The report looks at the savings possible for each state involved, and for the overall watershed.

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