BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For 15 years the Chesapeake Bay has received a report card breaking down factors like water clarity, how much oxygen is in the water, and the health of the marine life. Environmentalists said that we are heading in the right direction, but the Bay still needs some work.

“We got a “C” this year. Last year, we got a C-minus but the important thing is a trend continues to be improving,” said Bill Dennison, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

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The watershed scored a B-minus, but scientists said they added more grading points to the list of things they were already testing and this puts them in a good place moving forward.

“We have to be reducing pollution, building more resilient infrastructure, protecting communities that are disadvantaged and at great risk for flooding and extreme weather events,” said Ben Grumbles, Maryland Department of the Environment.

Grumbles is the secretary for Maryland’s Department of The Environment and said a way to improve these areas is by building more parks and increasing walkability. University of Maryland’s Center For Environmental Science studied that theory.

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“It’s very important this year to understand that we have access to this green space for our mental and physical health,” said Dennison.

Many would think the quality in the Bay would improve during the pandemic, but these changes will take time.

“We all stayed home but we still used our wastewater treatment. We still had fertilizer on our fields and we still had runoff from urban and agricultural runoff,” said Dennison.

Fishermen along the Eastern Shore said they have noticed an improvement in the lower bay, but north of the bay bridge needs some work.

“Even though the grade needs to be much higher we are moving in a positive direction,” said Grumbles.

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State Senators, task forces in Maryland, DC and Southern Virginia and other agencies said the more educated the public and legislators are about what needs to be done and what resources need to be funneled into the bay, the quicker the bay can score an A.

Rachael Cardin