Bernie Fowler evidently found the faintest glimmer of hope Sunday in his 25th annual
That's the clearest he's seen the water in a decade. Though his wade-ins are an unscientific survey of the river's health, it's the third year in a row Bernie's "Sneaker Index" has made it above 30 inches.
It's still a far cry from the crystal clarity of his youth in the 1950s and '60s, when he recalls seeing his toes in five feet of water. The Patuxent received a failing grade in the latest University of Maryland report card on the Chesapeake Bay's health, with the river's water clarity last year rated the worst since assessments began in the 1980s.