You can catch Will Baker's interview with Kojo Nnamdi here. Note: The Chesapeake Bay segment is the last one of the hour, so when you open your audio player, advance to the 39:58 mark (click on image for larger view).
From Kojo's website -- "Politicians love to talk about cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. But every political season, it seems that bold talk rarely translates into bold actions. (On today's show) we consider the politics of pollution in our region."
If you can't listen on the radio, the podcast should be available about an hour after the show ends.
Over spring break a handful of students from Christopher Newport University and Virginia Wesleyan College decided to forgo Daytona Beach and spend their vacations helping CBF restore Virginia's oyster population. The Virginian-Pilot has a great story about the endeavor. One student, Travis Deale, also sent us this personal journal entry.
"Taking the time to volunteer for CBF during my spring break was very rewarding. It gave me some hands-on experience in field biology and also was a very good time. As a biology student who one day wants to work in field research, this was something that I really looked forward to and enjoyed. It was nice to do something productive over break. I fully support what the CBF is doing in trying to save the bay and I am glad i could help. The experience itself was fun, so it didn't seem too much like work to me because I was having fun and wanted to do it. I hope to work with the CBF again soon."
Travis, we hope to work with you again soon, too!
Written by Alex MacLennan, CBF staff writer
On Wednesday, I and seven CBF staff members spent the day volunteering with the Chesapeake chapter of Habitat for Humanity in downtown Baltimore. It was an amazing opportunity—not only did we get to help a family become homeowners, but I also learned to frame up a wall.
CBF got involved with the North Washington Street project through the efforts and energy of Claire Ellwanger, a graduate of CBF’s Student Leadership Program and our 2007 Student Leader of the Year. Claire has fostered a partnership between The Park School and Habitat for Humanity—a partnership committed to building one house a year for ten years that includes the school raising $100,000 a year for H4H! And, since Wednesday’s “home raising” team was from CBF, Merrill Center staff donated a housewarming collection of green, sustainable home products. The new home will start of with a collection of long-lasting, low-energy fluorescent lightbulbs, organic cleaning products, and canvas shopping totes.
Eight of us went: Seven educators, who are used to being physical and outdoors with the 40,000 students CBF educates each year, and me. My job at CBF is to sit at my desk and write about the issues facing the Bay—dead zones and climate change, agricultural runoff and sprawling development. It’s an amazing job, but rarely do I get to head out and make a difference with my own labor and sweat. It was important to me to work just as hard as my cohorts, so naturally, when a competition sprung up—“Who can drive in a nail with the fewest hammer whacks?”—I slammed a hammer straight into my thumb. (Don’t worry, I only whined for a minute-and-a-half.)
We spent the day framing the upstairs walls—lining up and marking wood, cutting wood (my first circular saw! my first nail gun!), hammering wood, standing up huge frames of wood while real carpenters and builders shored them up. Honestly, I felt a bit like a geeky schoolkid, and a bit like Indiana Jones.
For me, what was so special was that I was helping someone in a direct, visceral way. Our foreman Rodney took us on a brief tour of the street we were working on and showed us five houses—two completed, and three underway. He knew the residents (current or future) of each house. He knew their stories, and how hard each person had worked to own their own home. That my job allowed me to contribute to that effort and that it ensured that at least one of these houses will get off to a green, sustainable start, makes my work even more worthwhile.
See more pictures on CBF's Flicker site
Here's a podcast about a great new group called the Maryland Grazer's Network, a mentoring program for farmers interested in selling locally-grown, grass-fed meat directly to consumers. Network leader Michael Heller, farm manager for CBF's Clagett Farm, has pulled together a "dream team" of farmers who will provide others with advice on Bay-friendly, rotational grazing practices and marketing. Listen and share it with your friends, and come on back to share your thoughts.
Other links you might find interesting:
Once again, the Bush Administration is proposing to reduce federal funding for pollution reduction, species preservation, and habitat restoration in the Bay region. This year the proposed decrease is almost 24 million dollars.
With only three years to go to meet the 2010 goals for the Bay, this is a step backwards, just when the Bay states have been stepping forward with unprecedented programs and funding to reduce pollution.
However, there is still opportunity to turn around the President’s proposed cuts. Congress frequently makes significant changes to the President’s proposal before it takes final action. This is where you can help.
Right now and through the middle of this month, your locally elected U.S. Senators and Representative are developing their own list of priority requests for consideration by the all-important Appropriations Committees. These requests are often even more important than the President’s.
You can encourage your elected officials to reverse the trend set by this President and fight for increasing, not decreasing, federal help for the restoration of the Bay and the streams that feed it.
The Bay needs your help. Click here to write to your Senators and Representative to let them know you care.