Photo of the Week: The Best Way to See the Bay

2680_Shady Side - Riverfest (14-Jun-14)Wc1

As a paddler, the best way to see and experience the Chesapeake is by sea kayak. Sea kayakers throughout the Chesapeake Bay Region have begun a series of paddling trips that span the newly accessible 100-mile Anne Arundel County Water Trail.

In this photo taken last month, members of Washington Kayak Club pose to celebrate our safe return from our first inaugural 14-mile round-trip paddle from the West/Rhodes River to Deep Creek after laboring through a small craft advisory on the Chesapeake Bay the last five miles. It would have not have been possible were it not for the new car-top boat ramp at Shady Side, MD.

—Dom J. Manalo

Ensure that these paddlers and future generations continue to enjoy extraordinary places 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], 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!

From the Ground Up: Celebrating a 20-year Partnership Between CBF's Clagett Farm and the Capital Area Food Bank

Boys in field
Photo courtesy of the Capital Area Food Bank.

 Summertime scene: Kids riding a hay wagon arrive at a farm field and spread out excitedly to pick sweet corn, okra, and tomatoes, under the careful supervision of Carrie Vaughn, Clagett Farm’s Vegetable Production Manager. She shows them how to pick the produce respectfully.  They bring their prizes back to the wagon in bins and head to the farm’s washing station to clean them for transport to D.C.’s Capital Area Food Bank.  

It’s no accident that most of these young people come from food-challenged families that receive produce through the Food Bank and its partner agencies. This scene is just one snapshot of From the Ground Up—a 20-year collaboration between the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Clagett Farm and the Capital Area Food Bank that blends Bay-friendly, sustainable agriculture with social justice through environmental/nutrition education and enhanced availability of fresh produce for people living at or near-poverty levels in the Washington region. 

The base “operating system” for From the Ground Up is Clagett Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, in which customers buy shares of the harvest beforehand and collect whatever is in season weekly, from salad greens in early May through winter squash in November. Regular customers pay a rate that covers enough program expenses to allow the farm to donate 40-50 percent of its annual production (around 35,000 pounds) to low-income people through the Food Bank. 

Food Grant - Second Genesis Stocking Fridge
Photo courtesy of the Capital Area Food Bank.

Participants can pick up their shares either at an appointed place and time within the District or at the farm, which is only 14 miles east of the U.S. Capitol Building. In addition, the CSA offers Reduced-Price Shares and Workshares to low-income families, and an extensive group of volunteer weeders and pickers helps to keep the program’s operating costs low. The result is that people of all income levels in the Washington, D.C. region can receive top-quality vegetables and fruits from this local farm, while helping to support an extraordinarily effective and efficient food bank that speaks to the needs of people around our Nation’s Capital.

For its Fresh Produce Grant program, the Capital Area Food Bank carefully selects recipient member agencies food pantries, clinics, after-school programs, soup kitchens, and shelters  with the organizational strength and the facilities to maintain the quality and efficiently distribute a broad range of produce to their clients. For 2012, there are nine participating agencies in the District, Suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia. 

But the Fresh Produce Grants themselves are only the first step in the Food Bank’s approach to battling hunger.  Another vital element for recipient member agencies is education. Remember those kids on the hay wagon?  They are there because, as written on the Capital Area Food Bank's website: "...the Food Bank —and CBF —understands that food alone will not end hunger. The food bank couples food distribution with education and training in order to maximize the impact of that food.

Washing sweet potatoes
Photo courtesy of the Capital Area Food Bank.

The Capital Area Food Bank works with our partner agencies as well as low-income individuals directly to gain the skills and resources they need to be more self-reliant. The food bank offers a wide variety of educational programs. Some of these programs are in the form of classes and demonstrations, while others are structured as train-the-trainer in order to support community organizations and capitalize on the strong leaders in our local community."

The best testimony of the value of From the Ground Up, though, comes from those who receive the Fresh Produce Grants. This note from a lady in the District gives it eloquently: “I am submitting this letter to express my appreciation for the fruits and vegetables that I had the fortune to receive for the last six months. I cannot tell you the impact this has had on my life and health. I am a senior citizen on a fixed income, and I would not be able to afford the quality of produce I have received. I want to thank you very much and sincerely hope that the program can continue.”

 John Page Williams

Photo of the Week: Weeping Happily on the Potomac

Dc march 27 2010 adam II 301The Potomac River from the District of Columbia looking towards Virginia. Photo by Patrick Armstrong.

I love this photo because of the blues and greens. It shows that beauty exists within the District. The photo was taken on a gorgeous spring day while a friend and I were showing some out-of-town friends the city. What an amazing view! I love showing off the great places that exist in the Maryland/D.C./Virginia area. There is so much beauty right in our own backyard.

 Patrick Armstrong

To view more of Patrick Armstrong's work, visit his Flickr photostream.

Ensure that Patrick and future generations continue to have "so much beauty right in our own backyard." Support the Bay pollution limitsour best hope for a saved Bay. 


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], 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!


Running for the Bay

IMG_5025Photo courtesy of Katie Spaeth.

My name is Katie Spaeth, and I'm a junior at Yorktown High School in Arlington County, Virginia. My first experience with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation was a two-day overnight trip in seventh grade, where we stayed at the Smith Island Education Center. On this trip, I learned about the environment through boating expeditions, hiking through marshes, and staying in an education center in a small town right on the Bay.

The isolated, outdoor aspect of this trip, where we learned about the environment through hands-on activities, was a very different and exciting experience for me, a native of a suburban town outside of D.C. Since then, I have attended three one-week Student Leadership Programs with CBF, and each was an amazing experience. Every trip required completing an action project, which included taking a leadership role in our communities and executing a project, which would raise awareness and positively impact the Bay.

After this past summer's Leadership Program, I decided I wanted to organize a 5K in my community, in which all proceeds would go toward supporting CBF's Student Leadership Programs. Having been an avid runner on my high school's cross-country team since eighth grade, the idea of incorporating my passion for running with my desire to help raise awareness about the Chesapeake Bay was incredibly appealing.

Organizing the event was a lot of work. I had never before created such a big project on my own. I had to call lots of people in the county to request an area for the run; create T-shirts; map out the course; and send out donation/participation forms. In the end, 36 people showed up on a cold and rainy Sunday morning to run, all adorned in matching "Arlington Run for the Bay 5K" T-shirts. 

The whole event was a great success, and I raised $775 dollars for the Student Leadership Program at CBF! I'm proud of all my efforts, and I'm thankful to all my friends and family who helped me organize the project along the way. Most importantly, I hope the money raised will go towards supporting this great CBF program. It has taught me incredible leadership skills, the importance of community service, and introduced me to inspirational adults and students throughout the Chesapeake watershed who are working to save the Bay.

 Katie Spaeth

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

5K Group


Chesapeake News and Dos

Filling you in on the top stories of the week and letting you know how to make a difference!

IMG_2591 Photo by Emmy Nicklin/CBF Staff.

This week in the Watershed:  Hypoxia returns, some much-needed funds, and good crab news 


Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities for the Bay

October 8

  • Help clean up the Anacostia, our nation’s “forgotten river!” Join the United by Blue crew to help rehabilitate this Potomac tributary. 

October 9

October 11

  • Voice your opinion on the future of menhaden, “the most important fish in the sea,” in Annapolis, Maryland. This meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is open to public comment so please attend. We need your help to let these officials know just how important this fish is to the Bay!
  • Join CBF and REI for a viewing of “Gasland” in Richmond, Virginia. Clips from this documentary about hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” will be shown followed by a conversation about possible fracking in George Washington National Forest.  

October 12

  • Help fortify stream buffers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania along Witmer Run by planting trees with CBF. Help stop sediment and nutrients before they get to our waterways.

October 15



Adam Wickline


If you have an upcoming Bay-related restoration event and you need volunteers, please let us know by contacting CBF’s Community Building Manager, Adam Wickline: Do you enjoy working with fellow Bay Lovers to help save the Chesapeake? Become a CBF Volunteer to receive notifications about upcoming volunteer opportunities. 


Speak Up for the Bay Tomorrow Night

Elected and appointed officials in Richmond and Washington, D.C. are making decisions about Bay restoration right now! They need to hear from you.

Please join CBF tomorrow evening for a Chesapeake Bay Town Hall meeting in Arlington, VA. Find out about progress on Bay restoration efforts—including the President’s Executive Order and upcoming legislation in the House and Senate.

Whether you have specific questions you’d like to get answered or simply want to hear the latest updates directly from the movers-and-shakers involved, your participation will help make the point that you want promises turned into actions! For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Guest Speaker:
Congressman Jim Moran, Virginia District 8

Panel Speakers:   
Chuck Fox, EPA Senior Advisor on the Chesapeake Bay
Senator Mary Margaret Whipple, Virginia District 31
Dr. Roger Mann, Director of Research and Advisory Services, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Roy Hoagland, Vice President, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

CBF's Will Baker on WYPR Thursday

Tune into Baltimore public radio station WYPR 88.1 FM Thursday (September 17th) at noon to hear CBF President Will Baker on the Dan Rodricks show. Will will be Mr. Rodrick’s guest and will discuss the draft Executive Order reports issued last week. Those reports outline the federal government’s new leadership for the Chesapeake and the kinds of strategies federal agencies proposed to take.

Listen Thursday or catch the podcast, then share your thoughts with us here.

Tune in to CBF's Will Baker on WAMU Radio Noon Today

Tomorrow, December 9, marks the 25th anniversary of a comprehensive effort to save the Chesapeake Bay. Tune in to WAMU 88.5 FM today at noon and join Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) President Will Baker and Washington, D.C. radio host Kojo Nnamdi for a look back at 25 years of working to save the Bay; what's been accomplished and what the future may hold.

Take this opportunity to call in with your questions. WAMU's talk show call-in number is 800-433-8850.

If you're concerned about the lack of progress in cleaning up the Bay and believe the Environmental Protection Agency should uphold the Clean Water Act, please sign our petition and encourage your friends and family to sign it, as well.

Rally_image_272x171_4859 Yesterday, while state and federal officials met inside Union Station for their annual Executive Council of the Bay Program meeting, CBF led a rally and performance action to protest the government's slow progress on Bay restoration. Turnout was excellent -- thank you to our Bay supporters who came down to D.C. to participate!

In the park outside Union Station, 200 or so folks chanted "EPA: Don't Delay, Save the Bay." Ken Smith, president of the Virginia State Waterman's Association broke down while he spoke about the losses that the watermen are suffering.

Rally_image_190x150_4673 In the words of Emily from Oceana, "Ken Smith of the Virginia Waterman's Association had to pause and choke back tears as he told the crowd about his memories of the Bay. "Those days are gone, but I'm hoping it will happen again."

CBF Board chair Keith Campbell and Sue Brown of the National Wildlife Federation stirred the crowd, and former Maryland State Senator Bernie Fowler vowed we will not give up until he can see his feet through clear Bay waters.

As CBF President Will Baker described it in an e-mail to staff last night, "Then in an unprecedented action, long lines of our ralliers in black t-shirts walked slowly and solemnly, with cameras from the media rolling, across the main floor of Union Station where the meeting was taking place. Described by onlookers as "awesome" and "eerie," the action was a powerful statement of frustration with the slowness of progress."

There's a good video on WJZ-TV's website. Photos and more video will be online soon.

If you attended the rally or happened to be in Union Station at the time, share your thoughts with us.

Photos by Nikki Davis