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The Key to Clean Water: Trees and Streams

We Want Your Questions!

Will Baker GOn November 12, CBF President Will Baker will be teaching a course as part of the Kaleidoscope Program at Roland Park School titled, The Chesapeake Bay – A National Treasure: Citizen’s Guide to Saving the Bay. We hope you will attend! (Register Here: or call Alexa Corcoran at 410/323-5500 ext. 3091; Seminar Fee is $30.)

But before the seminar, we'd like to hear from you! What would you like to hear about on the 12th? What sorts of Bay issues are you interested in? What concerns do you have about the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams?

Please post your questions and thoughts below in the comments field. As these questions and ideas get posted, we hope others will react to them. That way, we can tee off on a base of discussion that night rather than start from scratch.

Will will consider all of the input below and try to fashion his remarks to address what is of interest to you. We're looking forward to a fun, interactive discussion with you!

Learn more about the seminar here.


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Tracey Waite

In my opinion, one of the biggest offenders in the bay area is the poultry industry. And, one of the biggest constructive criticisms of the CBF is that it is too "nice." Bay clean-up projects are nice. Lobbying is nice. Staging demonstrations at the homes of Purdue owners, or organizing the kinds of non-violent resistance actions like those of PETA, or ACT-UP, for example, are not "nice" but are much more effective.

Debra Pyrch

I moved to Herald Harbor (HH) on the Severn 22 years ago. I keep reading about how the county wants to protect the bay from failing septics. Really? My neighbor's septic has leaked onto our property for 22 years. We complained. Nothing happened. We finally complained about our septic to show the county the neighbor's septic. Took a year after that to get it fixed, we were the bad guys, and the neighbor is not maintaining the septic that again will fail and drain into the Severn. We bought adjoining wooded property to stop development when we moved here. Turns out there is a paper road between our properties and the county is forcing us to build, on a sloping property, so that one property on a ravine can be built using the paper road. I walk the dogs and smell failing septics everywhere. Building is going on in HH at a rapid rate on tiny properties where septics WILL fail for sure. There is no smart growth that I can see anywhere in AA County but for sure in Herald Harbor on the Severn. AA County needs some plan, some smart growth plan or we will be looking at the same disaster that hit NY/NJ. Maybe all of us who live in the woods need to be taxed more because of the maintenance of power lines in the woods. I don't know. I am not against building new homes but there needs to be a smart plan and on larger lots. Just take a look at the county map, a huge wooded/forested basin in HH is platted out, every sq inch, to be built by greedy greedy builders who build big trash homes on tiny properties that septic WILL fail. When will this stop. I see on West Street, there was some green space. Now new max growth building across from commercial buildings that have been vacant for years. This does not make sense. AA County/Bay is afraid of "green"?


Why is the Bay threatened - what are the pollutants in order of severity/impact?
When did measurement start and what kind of extrapolation is happening to predict where the bay will be in 20, 50 years?
What can the average bayside homeowner do to directly help (other than give you money or try to influence lawmakers)?
What are the measures you use to measure your own success? How well are you doing?

Cliff Terry

Tom Horton's book "Turning the Tide," published in 2003 by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, makes an overwhelmingly strong case that there is no hope of saving the Bay without stabilizing (or reducing) the number of people living in the Bay's watershed. Page 324 says the CBF and Horton "... challenge environmental groups everywhere to join us in putting this vital issue on the national agenda."

Other than publishing that book, what has CBF done, and what will it do, to call attention to the need to stop (or reverse) population growth here, or anywhere?

Cliff Terry

In my comment earlier today, I should have added that Tom Horton HAS, both before writing "Turning the Tide" and continuing today, done a very great deal to call attention to the need to stop or reverse human population growth in the Bay watershed and in general.

Judy Floam

It is my understanding that about half of the water in the Bay comes from the Susquehanna River. If so, what are Pennsylvania and New York doing about improving water quality and how do they compare with what Maryland is doing?

Frances Woods

Sorry I'm unable to attend.
I live in Heritage Harbour, a pleasant enclave for the post 55 folks. It's hard to imagine the amount of insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers poured on this land which sits on the banks of the South River. Nor is this unique.
I can count on one hand the number of dandelions seen in the environs of Annapolis annually.
Perhaps we should give the farmers of New York and Pennsylvania a rest and look closer to home once in awhile.

Alida Greenhalgh

Moved to Sharptown in 2000. I wish to thanks every one involved in doing all they have done to preserve the Nanticoke River. Please keep up this type of activity. The waters, the wildlife, all are flourishing again.
We helped to squash some dirty deeds and became loathed by neighbors wishing to continue to pollute, I imagine this happens to you too.
My family applauds the cleaning of the bay, the eco-system restorations, the codes created for waterfront property all help to preserve for the future generations to not only enjoy but prosper from as well.

Brian Wessner

The Chesapeake Bay Blueprint is the guiding policy for improving the health of the Bay. Intermediate goals are being set by the states, in conjunction with the EPA. The overarching goals are targeted for 2025. With a program spanning over a decade, and given today's political climate, how can we be sure the Blueprint continues in exist in order to achieve its goals? And once those goals are achieved, where do we go next?

Pete Powell

1. How dangerous is the sediment backup behind the Conowingo Dam and what is being done about it?

2. The Abell Report dated November, 2012 concludes that efforts to restore the Bay will be ineffective unless more criminal actions are brought to enforce water pollution laws and the criminal penalties under Maryland law are as severe as under federal law. Do you agree?

3. The Maryland Attorney General is primarily responsible for enforcing Maryland’s water pollution laws. Doug Gansler ran for Attorney General as an environmentalist. Could he do more to enforce Maryland’s water pollution laws?

4. From the perspective of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, what three personal actions would you like Baltimore residents (not farmers) to do (or not do) to help restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay?

5. Citizens can become confused when it comes to making commercial decisions – hybrid or electric car, what solar contractor can I trust, what lawn service is really all natural? Do you see a time when advocacy groups like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Blue Water Baltimore, Environment Maryland, etc. will endorse specific products and contractors to help cut through the confusion and doubt?

6. Does the Chesapeake Bay Foundation have an opinion on the development of offshore wind power?

Gordon hostetter

I been building watergardens and Eco system as a hobby for 40 plus yrs and as a business for 25 plus yrs. I built half dozen natural swimming pools. Where they are tested by the state and pass with flying colors when the state tried to close down swimming at a bed and breakfast on a old working farm that the owner didn't want to see cori
Chlorinated dead water!! Now people come from all over USA to swim with the fish in crystal clear health water! Feeding the fish out of their hands. The fish became friends with the swimmers! All built with plants and bogs to create an Eco system like the earth was. I live at the inner harbor for 5 yrs and I watch things happen that are very very wrong. But if we would grow plant inlands in every nook and cranny of every dead space all around the harbor with aeration under water and above water we could make change in water quality? If u look at the bait fish at the harbor u will notice there gill plates are sticking out like wings not flat to there body which means LACK of OXYGEN and that's why algae bloom happens in spring and we have fish kills. Algae is good for oxygen till some moron in local gov. Decide to make the harbor pretty for the holiday and dumps into it, can't imagine how many gallons of hydrogen peroxide into the harbor!! Yes it's turns beautiful turquoise color but it kills all the good algae and bad algae and all micro organism gd and bad. I could not believe what I was seeing!! I Was fishing
one day before they dumped hydrogen peroxide there were stripers everywhere! Next day I had to troll the way out to Francis Scott key bridge to see a fish on my fish finder. YOU GO WATER management!! NOT!

Timothy Shultz

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is I believe the 2nd biggest nitrogen polluter of the bay. What is being done to establish maybe a permanent office or meeting place to get more activism/volunteer opportunities for our county.

John H Clemson

The Eastern Shore ought to have a real win-win-win thing going for it in the disposal of chicken waste.
If you have read anything on "Black Earth"

one can see how the manure can be burned to create fertilizer. Most fertilizer comes from the petrol-chemical industry, which we want to make smaller, and needs to be shipped in using trucks. With a local industry taking the waste material and returning it to the soil for farming and possible generating energy, this seems like something that should be funded as a demonstration project at least.

John H Clemson

We are coming up on Christmas, and we have a huge opportunity to plant tress if everyone who buys a tree would eschew the cut tree for a live tree. I have planted a large number of trees this way, whether a six foot traditional tree or a miniature. It is so cool to see a series of trees grow over the years and recall each Christmas that is represented!
If nurseries and public lands such as schools and parks could promote this (some folks don't have a place to plant their trees on their own property) we can lessen waste and green up the state!
It requires some forethought, a tub to put the tree in, the understanding that a tree can only be inside for about a week, watering while inside, having a hole dug, some strong backs to move the tree in and out, and outdoor watering for a short time until the tree goes dormant.
The challenge is to find a way to make this cost effective and to insure the trees' survival. So, any ideas on the $ front? Tax write-offs? Volunteers? Contracts from parks? Loaner trees? Rent-a-Tree? This could be for businesses as well as home owners.

John H Clemson

When can we expect air pollution controls and efficiency standards on the boating and farming industries as we have seen on the automobile industry?

John H Clemson

Maybe we can increase awareness of the Bay and its changing patterns by getting the weather people on TV to include a 30 second Bay Report. Do we have enough monitoring devices to report on a "pollution" index or something like that for say 10 key places in the Bay each day? Could we create a graphic system such as for weather with fronts and currents to show how pollution spreads or salinity and temperature change?
Occasionally after a big storm we see the satellite sediment photos and they are effective, but we need to see more day-to-day events graphically.

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