We might sound like a broken record at times, but there's a reason why we're always talking about the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. Unlike previous Bay cleanup plans, the Blueprint sets two-year, incremental goals, known as milestones, to ensure states are on track to meet their pollution-reduction commitments. The Blueprint goal is to have 60 percent of the pollution-reduction practices in place by 2017 and 100 percent in place by 2025. Last Friday the EPA released their assessment of progress made by the states in their 2014-15 milestones.
While states are making significant progress, cleanup efforts are off track. As CBF President Will Baker states, "The [Bay] region is not on track to meet its 2017 goals, largely as a result of Pennsylvania's failure to reduce nitrogen pollution from agriculture. While we acknowledge that some progress has been made in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth has consistently failed to meet its goals, missing the mark in the last three two-year milestone periods."
These milestones provide the opportunity to highlight shortfalls, identify a proper course of action, and accelerate efforts. In this case, all the Bay states, but particularly Pennsylvania, need to focus on reducing agricultural pollution. The work to save the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams never stops. We will continue fighting to save this national treasure and leave a legacy of clean water to our children and future generations. Click here to read CBF's full statement on the EPA milestones assessments.
This Week in the Watershed: Milestones, Stinky Sea Lettuce, and A Susquehanna Paddle
- A fish spill on Virginia's Eastern Shore left approximately 2,000 bushels of dead and dying menhaden washing up on shore. (The Virginian-Pilot—VA)
- On the shores of Kent Island, rotting sea lettuce is leaving a noxious odor to the chagrin of many residents. (Kent Island Bay Times—MD)
- Efforts to reduce excess nutrients through stormwater controls are also providing the additional benefit of removing toxic pollutants from local waterways. (Bay Journal)
- Some Pennsylvanians are concerned over the use of biosolids—fertilizer from treated human sewage. (Altoona Mirror—PA)
- Baltimore is behind on its plans to reduce polluted runoff by eliminating impermeable surfaces and creating new wetlands. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
- A group of media members was invited for a paddle on the Susquehanna River, experiencing it's beauty and learning about the challenges it faces. (Lebanon Daily News—PA)
- The EPA released their assessment of progress by Bay states in their 2014-15 milestones. The findings reveal there is much work to be done, especially in Pennsylvania. (AP) Bonus: CBF Statement
- Numbers for blue crabs are up this year, but how does that impact the watermen who depend on them? (Washington Post—D.C.)
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 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!
June 30, July 8, and July 15
- 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!
—Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate