Cynical - you betcha! Long term? Lets see now, the first studies of Chesapeake Bay were conducted in the 1890s, and from the little research I've done over the past 40 years, there has been at least one or more studies each year pertaining to the bay's water quality. So, how long are YOU willing to wait for the scientific world to solve the bay's problems? Would a couple more centuries do the trick? I don't think so.
Keep in mind there is a massive industry out there of scientists that love to keep those tax dollars flowing into their pocket while they study everything on the planet. They're gobbling down those federal grants as fast as they become available, and some of those studies are open ended. Yep, they're just like highway projects along I-95 - those orange and white barrels seem to always be there. If I recall, the first crab study was created by Governor William Donald Schaeffer back in 1984. Schaeffer called it his "Crab Action Plan." The study revealed that crabs were being systematically wiped out by commercial crabbers in Maryland and Virginia. The study took a couple years, cost about $1-million per year, and the MD-DNR and VMRC biologists are still studying those same crabs today. It took nearly a decade after the results were released before MD-DNR Fisheries Service took any action at all. The very first thing they did was to limit the recreational harvest. (Gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling, doesn't it!) Next, they added a new recreational crabbing license (tax) to generate funds to enhance the studies. A couple years later, the scientists decided that MD-DNR's actions didn't do anything, so the scientific community said maybe we should limit the commercial catch. DUH! So, they shortened the commercial and recreational seasons, and limited the commercial guys to 500 crab pots per license. Big deal.
So, a couple centuries from now, when the earth's population is on the brink of starvation, drinking recycled urine, and still pooping in Chesapeake Bay, let me know how all that scientific stuff works out. Hell, long before then you'll have a bay that is so overloaded with nutrients that you'll be planting corn in the main shipping channel.