For far too long, dead zones have plagued the Chesapeake Bay every summer. This week it was forecast that this summer's dead zone will be average to slightly below average. At first glance, this might appear to be good news. Upon closer inspection however, the status quo is unacceptable. On what planet is it good news for a body of water the size of 2.3 million Olympic-size swimming pools to exist that chokes all life out of it? Work must continue to reduce pollution and restore water quality in local rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay.
There are many occasions in the fight for clean water when good news needs to be tempered by the reality that much work is left to be done. Two weeks ago, CBF witnessed amazing water clarity in the Severn River, along with an abundance of underwater grasses and active critters. View these signs of progress in this inspiring video:
Just this week however, an algal bloom popped up in the Severn. The work to save the Bay and it's rivers and streams is extremely delicate in nature. But we can take heart that the Bay is showing signs the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is working. And now is the time to accelerate our efforts. With the support of thousands of Bay-loving individuals across the Bay region, we will do just that.
This Week in the Watershed: Dead Zone Forecast, A Forgotten Fishery, and Paddler Activists
- Bacteria loads in three local watersheds of Virginia's York River found high concentrations of fecal coliform bacteria and enterococcus, bacteria which can cause infections in humans. (Daily Press—VA)
- Students in Hampton Roads are diving head first into the world of oyster restoration. (Daily Press—VA)
- It's still early in the crab season, but numbers are up so far, boosting the local economy. (Star Democrat—MD)
- American shad, a largely forgotten fishery, is experiencing a steep drop-off in the number of fish making it to spawning grounds, despite the investment in fish lifts at dams. (Bay Journal)
- Improvements to wastewater treatment plants are well ahead of schedule, largely due to technological upgrades at treatment plants. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the dead zone on the Bay this year is predicted to be average to slightly smaller than average. (Capital Gazette—MD) Bonus: CBF Statement
- Residents of Maryland's Eastern Shore are resisting the proliferation of massive chicken houses, which they argue have negative impacts on public health, property values, and the environment. (Daily Times—MD)
- More than 250 paddlers descended on Baltimore's Inner Harbor demanding clean water. (Bay Journal)
- Farmer and conservationist Bobby Whitescarver is teaching others how to effectively steward their land. (News Leader—VA)
What's Happening around the Watershed?
- Hampton Roads area, VA: Become an oyster gardener! First-time oyster gardeners are invited to attend one of our Oyster Gardening seminars to learn how to maintain their oyster garden over the coming year. Returning gardeners can turn in their "mature" oysters and pick up new baby oysters. Click here to see the dates and locations for both first-time oyster gardener seminars and returning gardener roundup!
- Easton, MD: The fourth-annual outdoor Clean Water Concert Series continues with the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters. The Navy's official chorus will perform pieces ranging from Broadway tunes to sea chanteys and everything in between; top-notch entertainment you won't want to miss! All concerts are free and open to the public. While enjoying the music, be sure to stop by the dozens of environmental and community exhibits, including CBF's, so that you can learn more about the Bay and how you can be a part of the movement to restore it.
- Shady Side, MD: Break a sweat and help Save the Bay—join CBF in cleaning the "homes" of the next generation of Chesapeake Bay oysters! Help restore the Chesapeake's native oyster population by cleaning oyster shells. We'll be shaking off the dirt and debris on shells so baby oysters can successfully grow on them. This "shell shaking" event is a bit of a workout but a fun, hands-on experience. With lifting involved, it is not recommended for individuals with bad backs or other health concerns. A tour of our restoration center will follow the shell shaking. Click here to register!
- Easton, MD: The fourth-annual outdoor Clean Water Concert Series wraps up with The XPD's. One of the best bands in the D.C. area, the XPD's are back and ready to groove to Motown, R&B, and funk tunes that will have you on your feet! All concerts are free and open to the public. While enjoying the music, be sure to stop by the dozens of environmental and community exhibits, including CBF's, so that you can learn more about the Bay and how you can be a part of the movement to restore it.
- Upper Marlboro, MD: Join CBF for a day at Clagett Farm for educational presentations, a tour of the farm, a service project, and a showcase of foods produced on the sustainable farm. Attendees will assist in the filling and planting of elevated garden beds designed for easier accessibility to individuals with a limited range of motion. Click here to learn more and register!
—Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate