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However, Fox said the challenge was daunting, noting that no one has ever restored a waterway the size of the Chesapeake Bay, although there have been success stories on smaller scales. He also encouraged researchers, entrepreneurs and others to focus on the core issues, noting the way past solutions have inadvertently continued to damage the bay.

“I would really recommend we focus instead on things that really are about getting at the core root of the challenges that we face in energy, nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment pollution,” and the “less sexy stuff” of urban, suburban and agricultural stormwater runoff.

If those technologies are developed, they will have global reach because the problems that affect the Chesapeake are also affecting waterways worldwide, Fox said.

“What we figure out, here in Maryland, that works in the Chesapeake will, in fact, be exported around the world, guaranteed,” Fox said.