Clean coastal waters that support fishing and swimming.
There are no easy answers to cure the pollution problems that plague our coastal waters. Degradation of water quality took decades to occur and is caused by modifications to the landscape. Buildings, highways, parking lots, yards, farms and drained forests prevent rain from soaking into the ground. When downpours occur, our cities, subdivisions and fields can generate large volumes of runoff contaminated with sediment, bacteria, pathogens, chemicals and nutrients. About 25 percent of coastal shellfishing waters are polluted with bacteria, and most of the coast is now off-limits to shellfishing and swimming after big rain events.