Photo of the Week: One Last Cruise

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I had a beautiful fall season on the Bay . . . out a few times a week in the upper Chesapeake, but with colder temps moving in, it was time for one last cruise.

Spent all day Friday [Nov. 18] out on the water in my 1968 Trojan Seaskiff, fishing until sunset. Was beautiful. 

Hauled MoNaH out at noon the next day just before the winter winds came in.

—Michael Redmond

Ensure that Michael and future generations continue to enjoy extraordinary sights and places like these along the Chesapeake. Support the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—the plan to Save the Bay and its waters! 

Do you have a favorite Chesapeake photo you'd like to submit to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Photo of the Week contest? Send your digital images to CBF's Senior Manager of Digital Media, 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. We look forward to seeing your photos!


Happy Thanksgiving!

At this special time of year, we're reminded of how grateful we are for all of you and your support of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.

This year alone, you helped plant more than 46 million water-filtering oysters on reefs and 17,000 trees across the region. And you helped give 40,000 students and teachers unforgettable experiences on our rivers, streams, and Bay so that they will learn to love and protect these waters like we do. 

All of these things were only made possible through your commitment to clean water. So we're sending you a special thank you directly from CBF President Will Baker on this golden November day at the Merrill Center.

Thank you again for all that you do to Save the Bay. We never could have come so far or accomplished so much over the years without your dedication, passion, and generosity. 

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at CBF!

—Emmy Nicklin
CBF's Senior Manager of Digital Media

 


Bill's Tried-and-True Thanksgiving Recipe

OysterStuffing_600x386For 27 years, my family and neighbors have spent Thanksgiving on the banks of Stove Point, overlooking Fishing Bay and the mouth of the Piankatank River in Virginia. From there, we eat raw oysters, drink Bloody Marys, and glance out over the Bay's gray, November waters.   

To me, there's no better place or time of year to experience the Chesapeake. 

I'm grateful for that day, that place, that moment with family and friends. And I'm thankful for you, too. As CBF supporters, your generosity and friendship make everything we do possible. Because of you, in this year alone, we planted more than 46 million native oysters on reefs and 17,000 trees across the watershed. We gave 40,000 students and teachers unforgettable experiences on our rivers, streams, and Bay so that they will learn to love and protect these waters like we do.

All of these things were only made possible through your commitment to clean water.  

And as a small token of our gratitude, please enjoy Director of Fisheries Bill Goldsborough's favorite oyster stuffing recipe just in time for the holidays. It's the perfect addition to a hearty meal on a cold winter's day.

What's more, it's the perfect way to celebrate Bill's last month with CBF. After 38 years of tirelessly fighting for the Bay's rockfish, oysters, and crabs, Bill will be retiring in December. And we are so incredibly grateful for and proud of his extraordinary efforts to restore this Bay we all love.  

Click here to celebrate Bill and get his tried-and-true oyster stuffing recipe. 

We've accomplished so much over the years thanks to your dedication, passion, and generosity. Thank you again for all that you do to Save the Bay.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 —Emmy Nicklin
CBF's Senior Manager of Digital Media

 


Photo of the Week: The Supermoon and the Mighty Potomac

DSC_2767CBF The Supermoon of November 13 2016
"The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course; but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished." —Ming-Dao Deng

 

As the supermoon (AKA the beaver moon) rises over ridgelines of Blockhouse Point Conservation Park and Sharpshin Island under fall skies, the mighty Potomac becomes vividly reflective of its serene beauty and deeply solemn among paddlers who enjoy this magical and wondrous waterway through all the seasons.

—Dom J. (DJ) Manalo

Ensure that DJ and future generations continue to enjoy extraordinary sights and places like these along the Chesapeake. Support the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—the plan to Save the Bay and its waters! 

Do you have a favorite Chesapeake photo you'd like to submit to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Photo of the Week contest? Send your digital images to CBF's Senior Manager of Digital Media, 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. We look forward to seeing your photos!


Little Fish, Big Impact

 

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Menhaden are the fuel of the Bay's food web, providing critical sustenance to other Bay species like rockfish. Graphic courtesy of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Small, silvery, and packed with nutritional might, menhaden have long been thought of as "the most important fish in the sea." And the other week, they once again came to the forefront of fisheries management and Chesapeake conservation.

On October 26, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), which manages the coast-wide catch of menhaden and 23 other migratory fish species, met in Bar Harbor, Maine, to revisit menhaden's harvest cap for next year

Menhaden are a fundamental link in the Bay's food web, serving as valuable sustenance for striped bass and many other important fish, marine mammal, and seabird species. Their health directly affects the health of the entire ecosystem. Yet the menhaden population has faced a long history of large-scale industrial fishing and historic low abundance in recent years.

We sat down with Bill Goldsborough, CBF's Fisheries Director and former ASMFC Commissioner, to get a better understanding of what happened at the meeting, and what it means for the fate of this all-important fish.

 

What happened in October?
ASMFC took up the issue of what the menhaden quota should be for 2017 after delaying the decision at its August meeting. A compromise was reached to increase the current harvest cap by 6.5 percent, bringing the menhaden catch limit up to 200,000 tons. That number was judged to be the middle ground among nine different options considered in August, ranging from keeping the status quo all the way up to increasing the catch limit by 20 percent. This quota is only for one year before the new management plan (or Amendment Three) comes into place in 2018.

 

What does this mean?

It's disappointing. With menhaden still not abundant throughout their geographic range and continued concerns about recruitment in the Bay, staying the course would have helped ensure a healthier menhaden population for all stakeholders—the reduction industry, bait fishermen, anglers, conservationists, etc.

What's more, we're not being consistent with the objective that the ASMFC has had for 15 years to account for menhaden's ecological role, something the commission is planning to do in 2018 by adopting "Ecological Reference Points" (ERPs) under Amendment Three. (ERPs are guardrails for managing the harvest while leaving enough menhaden in the water for the ecosystem.) The bottom line is there was too much political pressure to have an increase right now.

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A hungry osprey with his menhaden lunch. Photo by iStock.

Why are menhaden so important?
Menhaden are the fuel of the food web, and we control the flow. Too low and we have problems with striped bass nutrition, diseases, mortality, and so forth. For a predator like striped bass that depends a lot on menhaden, if there are not enough menhaden available, they will shift to something else that's probably not as nutritious. They might shift to blue crabs—is that better for the bigger picture? It's a tradeoff between management objectives. You have to think in an ecosystem-sense rather than a single-species context for ecologically important fish like menhaden. It's important to remember that leaving menhaden in the water to be eaten satisfies an important management objective to keep the ecosystem healthy. You get incredible value from leaving these fish in the water.

What's next?
ASMFC will develop a new menhaden management plan (Amendment Three) for 2018 based on public comment from all stakeholders as well as scientific data and expertise.

This new plan will give us ecological reference points, and it will give us a new framework for allocating the menhaden catch quota among the states, among the industries, and so on. Right now it's done by state—each state gets a certain percentage of menhaden catch, and Virginia gets 85 percent out of the entire coast, while some states get less than one percent

One type of ecological reference point that CBF and many other groups support would maintain at least 75 percent of the virgin biomass [how many fish would be in a natural system before any harvesting] in the water for the health of the ecosystem.

The first public comment phase on the new menhaden management plan ends January 4, 2017. Stay tuned for how you can take action for the Bay and "the most important fish in the sea"!

This year is a big year for you. You're retiring as CBF's Director of Fisheries next month after 38 years and leaving ASMFC after more than 18 years on the commission. What has been the biggest milestone for you, particularly in your time with ASMFC?
Actually getting a quota on menhaden with Amendment Two was the biggest milestone that I was part of at ASMFC. And if Amendment Three proceeds the way it's supposed to, that will probably supersede Amendment Two as a milestone.

Before Amendment Two, there was no limit on the catch of this ecologically critical fish. No limit! And it was the biggest fishery on the East Coast, and annually in the top five nationwide—West Coast, Gulf Coast, Alaska. That's high volume! Getting a quota set at a conservative level—20 percent below what it had been—was probably the biggest milestone for me.

There's been a whole lot more focus on the importance of forage fish in general in recent years, and I think a lot of that derives from the two decades that we've been working on menhaden.

—Emmy Nicklin
CBF's Senior Manager of Digital Media

Learn more about menhaden and why they are so important at our next Blue Planet Forum.

 


Photo of the Week: Tangier Crab Shacks

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This photo of Tangier's crab shacks was taken in mid September.

My husband and I are New Englanders and both grew up near working boatyards. My Dad was a commercial lobster fisherman. We moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia two years ago. We have been to Tangier Island a couple times.

Seeing the watermen of Tangier brings back so many memories of my childhood. We love the gritty appearance of the island's crab shacks. The hard work and the love of the Bay is evident as you walk through the community. Life must be difficult for these islanders, but they will stay there as long as Mother Nature is kind.  

—Lisa Gurney, Onancock, Virginia 

Ensure that Lisa, her husband, and future generations continue to enjoy extraordinary sights and places like these along the Chesapeake. Support the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—the plan to Save the Bay and its waters! 

Do you have a favorite Chesapeake photo you'd like to submit to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Photo of the Week contest? Send your digital images to CBF's Senior Manager of Digital Media, 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. We look forward to seeing your photos!


Photo of the Week: Smith Island Morning

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I took this picture of Ewell, Smith Island on the morning of October 21, 2016.  I was participating in a CBF retreat for Maryland Teachers of the Year. CBF's Capt. Jessie Marsh was taking us out to check our crab traps.

I cannot speak highly enough about how passionately the CBF staff (Jessie, Norah, Kat, Adam, and David)  worked to inspire us to advocate for Maryland's most precious natural resource and energize the next generation of Chesapeake Bay stewards.

—Anne Highfield, Cecilton Elementary School Teacher 

Ensure that Anne, her students, and future generations continue to enjoy extraordinary sights and places like these along the Chesapeake. Support the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—the plan to Save the Bay and its waters! 

Do you have a favorite Chesapeake photo you'd like to submit to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Photo of the Week contest? Send your digital images to CBF's Senior Manager of Digital Media, 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. We look forward to seeing your photos!

Note about the photo: "I should also note that I took the photo with my iPhone and edited it with a few apps (Snapseed, Glaze, Mextures, and Image Blender.)"

 


Photo of the Week: Corrotoman Cormorants

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This picture was taken at the mouth of the Corrotoman River where it empties into the Rappahannock River. We were returning home from fishing for stripers when we passed the marker with the Double-crested Cormorants getting ready to settle in for the night.

—Kathy Haurand

Ensure that Kathy and future generations continue to enjoy extraordinary sights and places like these along the Chesapeake. Support the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—the plan to Save the Bay and its waters! 

Do you have a favorite Chesapeake photo you'd like to submit to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Photo of the Week contest? Send your digital images to CBF's Senior Manager of Digital Media, 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. We look forward to seeing your photos!


Getting to Know the James River

Haz clic aquí para la versión en Español.

Earlier this week, about 15 leaders in Central Virginia's Hispanic community and their families spent a sunny fall afternoon on the James River with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. For many of the participants, it was their first time in a boat on the river. They saw bald eagles and blue crabs, and discussed ways to get involved in restoring the James and the Chesapeake Bay.

Join us in our journey along the river through the following photos.

1
Petersburg Hispanic Liaison Director Aracely Harris holds a blue crab. "I learned about a lot of ways that we can help our environment," Harris said, adding that she hopes to continue to work with CBF in the future. "This will be a great opportunity for everybody."

2
A group helps haul aboard a trawl net as part of a survey of life in the river. "You can see the joy of kids learning and exploring," said Oscar Contreras, a host at Radio Poder WBTK. "A lot of the Latino community is made up of young families."

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CBF Educator Eric Wiegandt (left) examines fish caught in the net while Efrain Carcamo and Alexander Trejo look on with their daughters. 

3
Mary Trejo, 8, is amazed by a hogchoker fish caught in the trawl net.

4
Roberto Trejo, 16, watches the James River from the CBF education vessel Baywatcher. "It's wonderful to see the beauty that we have in this area," Contreras said. "A lot of us just go to work, do our daily routines. But it's nice to enjoy what God has created."

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CBF staff and local community leaders gather at the end of a beautiful afternoon on the water. Latino families are one of the highest user groups of the James River, said Tanya González, executive director of the Sacred Heart Center. Earlier this year, her organization worked with CBF on the Día de la Bahía riverside litter cleanup. "It's a matter of connecting with people and offering them opportunities to plug in," González said.

—Text and photos by Kenny Fletcher, CBF's Virginia Communications Coordinator

 


Conociendo el Río James

Click here for the English translation of the following blog post.

Esta semana, 15 líderes locales de la comunidad Hispana pasaron una tarde soleada y hermosa en el río James con la Fundación Chesapeake Bay. Para muchos esta fue su primera vez en un barco en este río. Vieron águilas y cangrejos y hablaron de como todos podemos colaborar en limpiar el río James y la bahía de Chesapeake.

Acompáñanos en nuestro viaje por el río a través de las siguientes fotos. 

1
Aracely Harris, directora de la oficina de enlaces Hispanos de Petersburg, examina un cangrejo azul. “Aprendí mucho sobre cómo podemos ayudar el medio ambiente,” dijo Harris. Espera poder trabajar más con la fundación en el futuro. “Va a ser una gran oportunidad para todos.”

2
Un grupo recoge una red para estudiar la vida acuática del río. “Ves la alegría de niños aprendiendo y explorando,” dijo Oscar Contreras, locutor en Radio Poder WBTK. “Hay muchas familias jóvenes en la comunidad Latina.”

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Eric Wiegandt de la Fundación examina peces mientras Efrain Carcamo y Alexander Trejo observan con sus hijas. 

3
Mary Trejo, 8, se queda asombrada por un pez plano que pescaron en la red.

4
Roberto Trejo, 16, observa el rio James desde el barco Baywatcher de la Fundación Chesapeake Bay. “Es maravilloso ver la belleza que tenemos en esta área,” dijo Contreras. “Muchos vamos al trabajo, pasamos por nuestras rutinas cotidianas. Pero es bueno ver lo que Dios ha creado.”

5
La Fundación Chesapeake Bay y los líderes locales y familias se juntan después de pasar una buena tarde en el barco. Las familias Latinas usan mucho el río James, dijo Tanya González, directora del Centro Sagrado Corazón. Su organización trabajó con la Fundación hace unos meses para limpiar basura del río durante el Día de la Bahía. “Lo importante es conectar con gente y ofrecerles oportunidades para contribuir,” dijo González.

—Kenny Fletcher