Scientific data collected over three decades proves that upgrading sewage plants and government regulation of fisheries work to improve the Chesapeake Bay. A report by U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science documents the success of clean water and air laws in cleaning up Bay tributaries.
Yet government regulation remains unpopular -- especially among watermen, developers, and farmers. And so elected officials in the Chesapeake Bay region have not used regulation as often as they should have since the launch of the Bay restoration effort. More politically popular and common, but not as effective, have been voluntary partnerships and photo-ops.