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June 2011

Notes from the Field: Baltimore Harbor

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Photo credit: CBF Staff


This past Monday, out on the Baltimore Harbor, we saw the star-spangled Francis Scott Key buoy get deployed back into the Patapsco after a winter of repair and maintenance. The buoy marks the location of the British ship that Francis Scott Key was on when he wrote his famous poem, which our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is based on.

This week our students pulled in an awesome oyster catch.  As they culled through the shells they found four gobies (a small fish that relies on oyster reefs) and also two empty oyster shells covered with goby eggs. It is rare that we find any fish out at the Fort Carroll oyster sanctuary so this was a very exciting discovery.  

Our wrap-up with our North Carroll HS AP Environmental Science class this past Wednesday was focused on hope. Acknowledging that it is far too easy to focus on the problems that the Bay is facing, we asked them to reflect on things that they had seen, animals they had touched, and concepts we had discussed while on the Snow Goose that gave them hope for their environment. The students came up with great examples including man-made wetlands made from recycled materials that we saw floating around the edges of the Baltimore Harbor, birds thriving on the small but productive bird sanctuary that Fort Carroll has become, and the fact that several of them had a renewed interest in working in a field related to the environment after their experience out on the water. To learn more about CBF's Baltimore Harbor Program, visit: http://cbf.org/Page.aspx?pid=342.

–Jocelyn Andersen, CBF Baltimore Harbor Program Manager

Help Jocelyn continue to show Baltimore-area students the wonders of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and their connection to it. Go to Liberty Mutual Baltimore on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/libertybaltimore) and vote for CBF. We could win $30,000 in support of this tremendous program…but only with your vote!


Save the Bay on a Bike? Absolutely.

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From Left to Right:  Jon Mueller, Rob Beach, John Rodenhausen, Adam Wickline stop in front of CBF's skipjack, the Stanley Norman, in downtown Annapolis.  Photo by Kathleen Brasington. 

 
May 20, 2011


 

Gandhi once told us to be the change you wish to see in the world. This morning, people across the country became that change as they rode their pedal-powered bikes to work and bucked our oil-dependent, sedentary, and ecologically harmful car-commuter society. 

Today, bikers came together to celebrate May 20th National Bike-to-Work Day. For some, this was their first time commuting via bike while others had been pedaling to work for years. Regardless, all cyclists benefited from getting outside, pumping the blood before work, and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow cyclists. 

Here at CBF’s headquarters in Annapolis, we had a good crew of people ride their human-powered vehicles into work today. Luckily, the weather here was beautiful and there were plenty of people participating. As stewards and advocates of the Chesapeake, we were glad to see such a great turnout.

Most know that cars and trucks account for almost 30 percent of this country’s greenhouse gas emissions, which ultimately change our climate and raise the sea level around the globe, including that of the Chesapeake Bay. But what is less known is that the burning of fuel in our vehicles also adds a vast amount of nitrous oxides (NOx) to our atmosphere which enters our waterways via rain or snow. These nitrous oxides actually contribute about 22 percent of the nitrogen pollution getting into our Bay, which is the number one problem facing the Chesapeake. By riding their bikes today, cyclists kept that carbon and nitrogen from reaching the atmosphere, thereby helping us to save the Bay.

However, the benefits of substituting bikes for cars go well beyond the ecological. With conflict in the Middle East, disastrous oil spills, and peaking gas prices, people want alternatives to our petroleum-based transportation system, and for some that means bikes. In addition, biking means moving, and moving means burning calories. Burnt calories mean healthier, happier people and contracting waistlines. How’s that for being the change you wish to see? 

All these benefits from simply hopping on that two-wheeled contraption in your garage. And you thought it was just for kids…   

—Adam Wickline

Take the pledge!  Become a Cyclist for the Bay and help us save a national treasure!