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August 2007
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October 2007

Five Minutes with Sen. Casey

Pennsylvaniacaseyby Matt Ehrhart, CBF Executive Director, Pennsylvania Office

On Sept. 20th, Doug Siglin, Josh Saks and I had the opportunity to meet with Senator Casey.  We presented him with several hundred postcards, signed by constituents (his and ours), at the Kipona River Festival in Harrisburg.  I've not spent a lot time in DC, so  it's great to have Doug, a seasoned veteran, as a guide for the day.  Doug and I met Josh and Alex, our excellant writer and designated photographer, in the Senate office building and waited until the Senator was ready for us.

The photo op went fast - we may have had five minutes with the Senator.  He was well versed on the Farm Bill and our issues, very eloquent and easy-going.  We did have time to discuss the key issues and how it's so important for him (as a member of the ag committee) to be PA's (and the Bay Region's) champion.  I heard him speak at Ag Progress Days this August so I knew he was charasmatic and a good speaker, but I was a little surprised at down to earth he is and how genuinely interested he was in getting feedback from his constituents and hearing from the folks in PA.

Pennsylvaniacaseyphotosa We spoke about the folks who penned the postcards, and the hundreds of others from all walks of life, who have written or called on Farm Bill issues.  He really understands how important this issue is for PA and the Bay.  The agricultural policy set in the Farm Bill will last for the next five years, a time of changing landscapes for the Bay, ag energy issues, water quality, and conservation in general.  To be thrown into a leadership position on such a key peice of legislation - in your first year as a senator - must be empowering...and a bit daunting.

We know we need to redouble our efforts, to reach more people with information on the opportunity the Farm Bill provides.  Please continue your efforts to contact your federal officials and to encourage others to do the same.


Worried About Growth in Your Area?

Choosing_our_communitys_future Smart Growth America has two new resources available for the regular citizen who cares about the direction his or her community or region is taking in regard to growth. The "Choosing Our Community's Future" guidebook, available for $10, teaches how to make compelling arguments against poorly conceived plans and how to paint your vision for others. Smart Growth Shareware will be added to your purchase at no additional charge. This great resource includes publications, presentations, websites, and more information about topics including public health, children and schools, land conservation, water, transportation and more.


Help Tangier Island Residents

Tangier_center_3The residents of Tangier are raising funds to build a new healthcare facility. Their current facility was built in 1957 and is suffering from structural damage that will not allow them to use the building much longer.

So here's the good news! The Tangier community has raised nearly $500,000. This is a huge step toward the $1.2 million they need to build and endow the new facility. Each shop on the island has donation boxes. T-shirts and cookbooks will be available for sale this fall and now there is now a website dedicated to raising funds http://www.tangierclinic.org/.

The hope is to break ground for the new building in the spring of 2008. Upon completion the new facilty will:

  • Lower the cost of individual visits to those without healthcare benefits.
  • Improve the quantity and quality of healthcare services available to the local community, CBF trip participants and tourists. All of whom are vital to the survival of this unique place.
  • Make available services that would otherwise require a trip to the mainland. Trips to the mainland often cost residents several hundred dollars.
  • Keep the doors open 5 days a week instead of the current 2 days.

If you would like to make a tax-free donation to the cause please go to the website http://www.tangierclinic.org/.


BayFest Thanks Members & Volunteers

BayfestOn Saturday, September 15, more than 300 Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) members gathered together for food, fun, and fabulous tunes on the beach at CBF’s headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland. The annual BayFest event was organized to thank CBF financial contributors and volunteers for furthering CBF’s mission to save the Bay.

The following individuals were then recognized for their tireless service and commitment to saving the Bay:


Tangier Island Benefits from Couple's Devotion to the Bay

199852CBF members Susan and Neil Kaye are busy and accomplished volunteers. Lucky for everyone they focus their efforts on the Bay, and specifically Tangier Island. The couple bought a house on Tangier that they now commute to regularly on weekends. On the island they devote themselves to helping improve Tangier’s natural, cultural, and civic resources. The Kaye's show that you can do an extraordinary amount in very small ways.


Coalition Petitions VA Governor to Clean the Bay

CBF has joined a Virginia coalition of farm and conservation groups urging Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and state legislators to finish the job of restoring the health of Virginia rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Virginia coalition, including CBF, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and the Virginia Agribusiness Council among others, is calling on Gov. Kaine and the Virginia General Assembly to budget $100 million a year for 10 years to fully fund the cost-share programs. The coalition calls for an annual $100 million budget payment, to be financed by 1/10 of one cent of the state sales tax.

CBF members can help by letting Gov. Kaine and Virginia elected officials know they support this funding by signing CBF’s online petition. Go to www.cbf.org/VApetition. For more information, contact Emily Francis at efrancis@cbf.org.


Top Six Regional Conservation Priorities

Mattawoman1_fthrdThe metropolitan Washington Smart Growth Alliance (“WSGA”) runs a program that promotes the top regional conservation priorities each year. This year's priorities, announced at a recent press conference are:

WSGA is a group of “strange bedfellows” who came together in 2002 to promote “smart growth” across the greater DC region.  Comprised of the Metropolitan Washington District Council of the Urban Land Institute, the Metropolitan Washington Builders’ Council, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade, Enterprise Community Partners, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, WSGA runs a “Smart Growth Development Recognition Program” that endorses specific development projects that meet a set of smart growth criteria, in order to help them move forward.


Success Over Sewage

"CBF applauds the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for redrafting the town’s pollution permit to require protective pollution controls,” said Ann F. Jennings, CBF Virginia Executive Director. "Obviously, much more needs to be done to correct the pollution problems in the Bay.  But the State Water Control Board and DEQ have now done what we originally asked of them on the Onancock permit, and that is why we are dismissing this lawsuit. If these pollution control measures are applied across the board to both large and small dischargers alike, we should start to see improvement in the Bay's water quality."

In the press release quote above, Jennings is talking about a three-year-old lawsuit CBF against the Commonwealth of Virginia that the Foundation has dropped after the state rewrote a pollution permit for the Town of Onancock, significantly reducing the amount of pollution from the town's sewage treatment plant.