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March 2007

Forum on Balance and the Bay set for March 3

Join Southern Maryland politicians, policymakers, and academics this Saturday (March 3) at St. Mary's College of Maryland for a public forum to discuss "Finding a Balance: Growth and the Environment in the Chesapeake Bay Region." The daylong symposium will begin at 9 a.m. in the Campus Center's Cole Cinema. (Southern Maryland Online)


VA Legislature Makes Clean Water A Priority

CBF’s top legislative priority in the 2007 Virginia General Assembly session was approving up to $250 million in additional funding for cleaning up Virginia’s streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay. On February 24th, the General Assembly authorized the funding. CBF congratulates the legislators for continuing to make clean water a priority.


PA property owners: watch your mail

CBF is mailing 30,000 post cards to streamside property owners in southern central PA to encourage them to plant forest buffers along their streams. The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) not only covers the costs to install buffers, but also pays annual rental fees once the buffer has been established.

Crep

“Planting streamside buffers is one of the most effective conservation measures we can take to reduce pollution and improve water quality in our local streams,” said David Wise, PA CBF’s Watershed Restoration Manager. “We’re encouraging landowners to enroll and take advantage of the opportunity to improve their water quality and the value of their property while getting paid to do so.” (PA Farm News)


Get the low-down on Maryland legislation

Join MD Executive Director Kim Coble and MD Manager of Advocacy Terry Cummings on Wednesday, February 28, for a discussion of the critical legislation CBF is working on to move the Bay off the EPA's "dirty waters" list. Discussion will cover the Chesapeake Bay Green Fund, oyster legislation, the Clean Cars Act and more.

The event, part of CBF's 2007 Lecture Series, will be held at the Phillip Merrill Center, 7 - 8 pm, on Wednesday, February 28.

It's free to all. Please RSVP to chesapeake@cbf.org


Here piggy, piggy

PigMarylanders -- if you want to show your support for the Green Fund, order a free piggy bank from CBF. Fill it up. Then send it to us (or we'll pick it up). Your contribution will show the State's elected officials that you support funding for Bay restoration and want them to do so too!

All money collected will be donated to the Chesapeake Bay Trust for restoration projects.

Our goal is to deliver at least 500 full piggy banks to Maryland legislators in March.


Septic upgrade grant funding available for Charles County residents

One more strike against nitrogen, one more point for the Bay.

The Charles County Commissioners and the Charles County Department of Health today announced that grant funding will be available to homeowners wishing to upgrade their on-site sewage disposal system with nitrogen removal capability. The grant funding will also pay for the first five years of maintenance. These funds are made available through the fees paid to the Bay Restoration Fund by owners of on-site sewage disposal systems. (Southern Maryland Headline News)


Demise of mussels linked to SAV decline in Magothy

The Magothy River didn't look so good in 2006.

A 20 percent drop in underwater grasses appears to be linked to the demise of dark false mussels, an unusual species widely credited for a burst of good water quality two years ago, according to a draft of the annual Magothy River Index.

"The most interesting thing is what happened when the dark false mussels died out," said Dr. Peter Bergstrom, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration biologist who helps the Magothy River Association monitor the river. "We saw an improvement in the river that happened together with an explosion of the mussel population in 2004."  (The Capital)

At its "State of the Magothy" meeting last night, the Magothy River Association planned to discuss a five-year plan for clearing the water and increasing the oyster population -- including funding sources. Unfortunately, I was unable to make the meeting so can't report back. I'll update here when I find out more.

Want to help the Magothy and SAVs? Check both the CBF and Magothy River Association web sites for more info and ideas.