Previous month:
May 2012
Next month:
July 2012

Amy's Clean Water Story

IMG_2433
Amy's friend Jens jumping off the Martha Lewis. Photo by Amy Kehring.

If it weren't for the Bay, I wouldn't have such wonderful memories of trips from Havre de Grace to Deal Island and points in between.

Sailing on the Skipjack Martha Lewis, an historic vessel built in 1955, is a real treat and I can't imagine my life without this opportunity.

We've spent time on the beautiful Miles River, swimming and diving off of the bowsprit. We've spent time docked in Solomons Island crabbing off the pier. We've spent time anchored outside of Gibson Island, docked in Annapolis by the Naval Academy, and dredging for oysters over at Seven Foot Knoll.

The quality of the waters determine our ability to preserve oyster dredging--the main purpose of the boat I sail on. Without the oysters and the water, how would we teach people about the great history of the Bay? People depended greatly on the bounty of our Bay in the past, and still do.

I would have missed out on so many fun times—the swimming, fishing, cruising, and education of many people along the way—if it weren't for the beautiful Bay. If we can't keep the water clean, all of these opportunities will not be available for future generations to experience.

—Amy Kehring
Joppa, Maryland

Ensure that Amy and future generations continue to swim, fish, cruise, and learn on our waters and Bay. Support the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprintour best hope for a saved Bay.

 WHAT'S YOUR CLEAN WATER STORY?



Photo of the Week: Where in the World Is Save the Bay Now?

WhereintheWorldPhoto by Miriam McCullough.

Hemingway, Capote, and Bishop have all called this whimsical place home. Located at 24.5° N, 81.7° W, this is a place for prime Green Flash viewings. A once playground for pirates and rumrunners, this vibrant place is steeped in history...and beautiful blue-green waters. So Where in the World is Save the Bay Now? Enter your guesses in the comments below...

Are YOU going on any trips this summer? "Save the Bay" is on a quest to travel the world! So bring your sticker with you on your journeys. When you return, send us your digital photos of "Save the Bay" in front of different notable (or even not-so notable) scenes across your city, county, country, and worldNo place is too small or too ordinary, even your own backyard will do! If you don't have a sticker, e-mail CBF's E-Communications Manager, Emmy Nicklin, at enicklin [at sign] cbf.org. We look forward to hearing and seeing your travel stories! 

 


We're Halfway There: Protecting an Albemarle Farm in Perpetuity

This is one in a series of articles about farmers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed who have implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs), demonstrating that agriculture is half way to achieving the nutrient reductions needed to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its waters. View the rest of the series here.

 JimmyPowell
Hardware River watershed farmer Jimmy Powell with one of his Angus bulls. Photo by Bobby Whitescarver.

Jimmy Powell and his family have been farming for three generations. He owns 420 acres of pasture and hayland in the Hardware River watershed, a James River tributary that flows through Albemarle and Fluvanna Counties.

Powell is on the Farm Bureau Board of Directors for Albemarle County, and he serves on the county committee of the Farm Service Agency. He also was the first farmer to participate in Albemarle County’s purchase of development rights program. Powell received cash from the county to extinguish most of the development rights on the farm. His land is now protected from development forever.

“I love this farm, and I don’t want to see it developed,” he says.

Ches Goodall, Albemarle County’s director of open-space protection said, “Jimmy’s farm was the perfect fit for our farmland protection program. It’s a productive family farm. We created these incentives because we don’t want development in our rural areas. It’s too expensive, and keeping [open space] in farm and forest land protects our rural character—the scenic beauty…and water resources.”

Said Powell, “Now that I know the farm is going to stay farmland, I am going to work even harder to improve the soil and water resources. I’ve fenced off some of my streams, and it has been a good thing. My cows are healthier, and I can rotate my pastures easier...These volunteer programs have helped. I could not have done it without them, and they need to keep going.”

Powell has a current CREP contract with the Farm Service Agency and has applied for assistance through the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative to fence off another stream on his farm.

“We’ve got a ways to go, but I know it’s good for my cows, my farm, and the streams where I live,” he says. “I want to leave this farm in better shape than when I took over.”

—Bobby Whitescarver  

 Whitescarver lives in Swoope, Va.
For more information, visit his website or e-mail him at bobby.whitescarver@gettingmoreontheground.com.

 


Photo of the Week: West River Sunset

Moon, marine one 190Photo by Julie Thackrah.

"[This sunset was] shot from Idlewild, Shady Side, looking out over the West River from my friend's house in late April. Our family has been enjoying the Bay, its beauty and its critters for close to 40 years now. It is a national treasure—Washington, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware need to wake up, stop playing politics, and save the Bay.

It is heartening to see the raptors and wading birds back. When I first came to the Bay, I never saw osprey, eagles, or herons. Now at least they are here, and we look forward to the ospreys' return each March. So, if we can come that far, we can continue to bring back such a wonderful estuary. Thanks to CBF for your help in fighting this battle."

—Julie Thackrah

Help ensure that Julie and her family continue to enjoy the Bay's beauty, critters, and sunsets like these. Support the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint!

Do you have a favorite Bay photo you'd like to submit to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Photo of the Week contest? Send your digital images to CBF's E-Communications Manager, Emmy Nicklin, at enicklin [at sign] cbf.org,along with a brief description of where and when you took the photo, and what the Chesapeake Bay means to you. Please also join our Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Flickr group and post your pics to our Facebook page. We look forward to seeing your photos!



We're Halfway There: The Importance of Fencing

This is one in a series of articles about farmers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed who have implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs), demonstrating that agriculture is half way to achieving the nutrient reductions needed to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its waters. View the rest of the series here.

GeorgeWaters1Photo by Bobby Whitescarver.

George Watters is a sheep farmer at the beginning of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Born in England and raised in New Zealand on a sheep farm, he knows a few things about rotational grazing and animal health. 

“How can the New Zealand farmer raise and ship lamb to the Northern Hemisphere cheaper than we can do it here? It’s because they’re very efficient; they can’t afford to lose a single animal due to water-borne pathogens. You don’t see livestock in the streams in New Zealand,” said Watters.

“These stream fencing programs you have here helped me set up a rotational grazing system that is very important in the sheep industry. I’ve got a waterer in every field, so they’re drinking clean water, and they rotate to fresh pastures on a regular basis.”

Fencing livestock out of farm streams is a major focus of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. This best management practice not only helps reduce bacteria, nutrient, and sediment pollution in Bay headwater streams but also fosters healthier animals and more efficient use of pastures. That can boost a farmer’s bottom line, which is why many Shenandoah Valley farmers employ this and other conservation measures to improve water quality and their farm operations. Some Virginia farmers, however, have not yet jumped on the clean water bandwagon.

After being raised on a farm in New Zealand, Watters served in the Special Forces for Great Briton in Libya and Oman. Then he moved to California to farm before settling in the Shenandoah Valley.

Watters added, “I’ve been all over the world and seen a lot, and you know, fencing livestock out of a stream is not that difficult. I don’t understand what the big deal is. Your animals will be healthier, and you can better utilize your pastures.”

—Bobby Whitescarver  

 Whitescarver lives in Swoope, Va.
For more information, visit his website or e-mail him at bobby.whitescarver@gettingmoreontheground.com.

 

GeorgeWaters2Photo by Bobby Whitescarver.


Photo of the Week: Crossing the Rappahannock

FredericksburgBridgePhoto by John Breslin. 

"This picture is one of my favorites. It's of the CSX Bridge that crosses the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg. It was taken from the City Dock Park at the end of Sophia Street in late summer 2007.

Just two weeks ago we were exploring across the Rappahannock from the park where the picture of the CSX railroad bridge was taken. We discovered that the Ferry Farm where George Washington lived, from age 11 through 21 years, was directly across the river and that the ferry crossed from that farm to the park where the picture was taken. Furthermore, that's where Washington threw, or skipped a coin across the river and where he chopped the cherry tree down.

It's difficult to say what the Bay means to me. I've owned a house on the Bay since 1976 at Holland Point. I used to sail a very small sailboat in Herring Bay before almost anyone else sailed there. The Bay is beautiful, dangerous, a wonderful place for recreation, to make a living...the Bay is a complex living organism, like our bodies. CBF is doing a great job, against enourmous odds, of trying to keep it healthy. Keep up the good work!"

--John Breslin

Do you have a favorite Bay photo you'd like to submit to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Photo of the Week contest? Send your digital images to CBF's E-Communications Manager, Emmy Nicklin, at enicklin [at sign] cbf.org,along with a brief description of where and when you took the photo, and what the Chesapeake Bay means to you. Please also join our Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Flickr group and post your pics to our Facebook page. We look forward to seeing your photos!



We're Halfway There: Restoring our waters and JMD Farms

This is one in a series of articles about farmers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed who have implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs), demonstrating that agriculture is half way to achieving the nutrient reductions needed to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its waters. View the rest of the series here.

  JennyDriver
Jenny Driver (right) with her father Millard and their border collies at JMD Farms in Barren Ridge, Virginia. Photo by Bobby Whitescarver. 

We could not have done it without these programs,” stated Jenny Driver of JMD Farms, a partnership operated by Jenny, parents Millard and Frieda Driver, and Michele Marston in Barren Ridge, Virginia.

She’s talking about the multiple programs they used to improve the water resources on their farm. They fenced 1.5 miles of stream banks to prevent their livestock from drinking polluted water and to keep them out of risky areas for birthing.

“The benefits were exponential,” she said in a recent interview. “We did what we could with poly tape and single strand electric wire, but we just didn’t have the money to install the watering facilities we needed for our livestock. These programs made it possible for us.”

They enrolled in Virginia’s CREP program in 2005 and later in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative. The programs helped with technical assistance in designing a livestock watering system with rotational grazing and funded the projects through cost shares and other incentive payments.

“That riparian zone is a super-healthy ecosystem now. The stream banks have healed, and we don’t worry about our livestock being in those wet areas. We sell all natural products, and what we’ve done with these programs helps complete our mission of providing healthy products on an environmentally healthy farm.”

This hundred-acre farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia raises all natural Angus beef, Suffolk lamb, free range chicken and eggs, pork, and fresh produce for local restaurants and farmers' markets. The farm also sells its products through the Internet via Staunton Fresh. Learn more about JMD Farms.

—Bobby Whitescarver  

 Whitescarver lives in Swoope, Va.
For more information, visit his website or e-mail him at bobby.whitescarver@gettingmoreontheground.com.



Meet the Communications Interns!

InternLeadPhotoOur newest Communications Interns Caroline Ulwick (left) and Maggie Rees (right). Photos by Emmy Nicklin/CBF Staff.   

Meet Caroline:
CarolineMy name is Caroline Ulwick, and I am a rising senior at Bates College majoring in Environmental Studies. I’m from University Park, Maryland, and grew up learning about the Chesapeake Bay. I picked environmentalism because I view it as the new frontier; all over the world, environmentalism inspires incredible feats of human ingenuity and new technology, and the more people that become involved, the more powerful the movement becomes. I chose CBF because it represents a combination of innovation, education, and inspiration; its mission is not only to provide information and engage communities, but also to foster a deeper understanding of and love for the Bay. My family has a house on the Chesapeake Bay, so I have the privilege of experiencing its majesty firsthand. It is a treasure whose value cannot be overestimated, both as a part of our national heritage and as a vital ecosystem.

This summer, I will work with my fellow intern Maggie Rees to come up with ways to improve upon existing Bay programs and find better ways to recruit Bay advocates. In my time here I hope to learn more about the inner workings of the organization and gain some experience in community building and outreach. I also look forward to competing in the upcoming Oyster Olympics. I plan to spend hours each day running or shucking or whatever it is you do to prepare for Oyster Olympics—maybe cardio.

 

MaggieReesMeet Maggie:
My name is Maggie Rees, and I am a returning summer intern for CBF’s Communications Department. I am a rising senior at Dickinson College with a major in Environmental Studies. I just completed an amazing spring semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain, researching sustainability in metropolitan cities. Prior to my time abroad, I spent my fall semester at Dickinson studying climate change, global environmental policy, and international climate negotiations. I finished the semester in Durban, South Africa, attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and volunteering as a philanthropist. I am thrilled to be back home on the Chesapeake Bay and excited to return to CBF to help Save the Bay!

After an amazing summer with CBF in 2011, I have come back to Annapolis to continue my efforts of reaching out to the community and spreading the word about the Chesapeake Bay. This summer, I hope to improve CBF's Speakers Bureau program by exploring and seeking out speaking opportunities to better connect audiences throughout the watershed. I also plan to further develop CBF’s Affinity Programs allowing, Boaters, Cyclists, and Gardeners all over the watershed to make a pledge to Save the Bay.


Photo of the Week: Saving the Bay One Lemonade Stand at a Time!

Brentwood band  Save the Chesapeake lemonade stand_rbAlexis King, sitting far left and holding the family chihuahua Rosie, her sister Elaina and cousin Danielle held a lemonade stand in support of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts! Photo by Krista King.

A few weekends ago, sisters Alexis (age 12) and Elaina (age 10) decided to hold a lemonade stand with their cousin Danielle in order to support the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's clean water efforts! The stand and lemonade were provided by their local bank, Brentwood Bank. "We love the Bay and have chosen the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to receive the proceeds," said mom Krista King. Many, many thanks to these young girls for their incredible foresight, dedication, and help with Saving the Bay! 

Emmy Nicklin

Interested in raising money for CBF in creative ways? Become a BayRaiser! From races and other special events to family celebrations or remembering a loved one, you can use  BayRaiser to raise money for CBF's restoration work. Learn more.