Casco Bay Health Index Report Released

casco bay health report

The Friends of Casco Bay has released its 2015 annual report on the health of the Maine water body. The report finds that, although generally healthy, Casco Bay is changing more rapidly than predicted, especially in terms of water chemistry.

The coastal waters of Maine’s most populous region are becoming more acidic, according to the report, making it harder for shellfish to build and maintain their shells. Of additional concern is excess nitrogen entering the bay through fertilizers, sewage, septic systems, and pollution from smokestacks and tailpipes, which is leading to higher nitrogen levels and lower oxygen levels close to shore.

These changes mirror what is happening worldwide. Globally, ocean temperatures are rising and the water is becoming more acidic, says the report.

Of top concern is nitrogen-rich runoff from homes, businesses and streets. After a heavy rain, the report states, “Millions of gallons of raw sewage, industrial wastes, fertilizers and pet wastes from yards, oil slicks from city streets and toxins from tailpipes and smokestacks are flushed into Casco Bay.

Read the full report HERE: