It's not every day that efforts on the local or regional level are recognized on an international stage. But that's just what happened on Tuesday, when the state of Maryland was awarded a silver 2015 Future Policy Award by the World Future Council. The award was in recognition of becoming the first state to impose an environmental literacy high school graduation requirement.
Environmental education, while not a new trend, has been gaining traction not only for its obvious educational value in teaching science, but also the positive impact on student achievement in other core subjects such as math, reading, and social studies. Textbooks and classroom learning have their place, but allowing students to have hands-on learning experiences can shape the way they view the world. From wrestling with a Chesapeake Blue Crab, to marveling at the oyster's water filtration powers, to raising the sails on a 113-year old skipjack, hands-on experiences connect people to their environment and the Bay in a way no other experience can.
Leading efforts in environmental education has been a pillar of CBF for over 40 years. Cultivating a reverence and sense of stewardship for the environment and clean water in our future leaders is critical in the work to save the Bay and its rivers and streams. Validation for these efforts only strengthens our resolve in our work to have every student learn outside.
This Week in the Watershed: Harbor Oysters, Learning Outside, and Marcellus Shale
- How did the Susquehanna River get its name? CBF's BJ Small weighs in.
- There was a win for clean water on Wednesday when Maryland's largest water utility, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, settled a lawsuit filed by several environmental organizations, including CBF, over millions of pounds of pollution being dumped into the Potomac River from its water filtration plant in Potomac, Maryland. (Washington Post—DC)
- In efforts to clean the Baltimore Harbor through harnessing the oyster's filtration powers, CBF is teaming up with Baltimore's Healthy Harbor Initiative, committing to plant 5 million oysters in the Harbor by 2020. (Baltimore Business Journal—MD)
- Maryland was honored with an international award for it's environmental literacy high school graduation requirement. (Washington Post—DC)
- We couldn't agree more with this editorial, effectively making the case for the preservation of Fones Cliffs. (Free Lance Star—VA)
- Learn why the James River's recent health grade of "B-" by the James River Association is worthy of celebration. (Lynchburg News & Advance—VA)
- Another editorial board deserves a round of high fives, condemning Baltimore County for abandoning its stormwater remediation fee. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
- ICYMI: The Richmond County Board of Supervisors voted to delay the vote on the development of Fones Cliffs. (Free Lance Star—VA)
- Alarming facts are being revealed surrounding Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale boom, finding that clean air, water, and land, played second fiddle to industry. (Patriot News—PA)
What's Happening Around the Watershed?
- Easton, MD: CBF's Maryland Eastern Shore office is moving! Join us at our new building, the Eastern Shore Conservation Center. Building tours and light refreshments will be provided, and CBF Eastern Shore staff will be present to visit with you as we celebrate the new space with partners and friends in the community. Click here for more info!
- York, PA: More than 350 miles of York County's rivers and streams are considered polluted by Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection. Join us as we canvas throughout York, asking residents to sign our petition to Governor Tom Wolf. For more information and to RSVP, contact Hannah Ison, CBF's Pennsylvania Field Organizer, at email@example.com or 717-234-5550 ext. 4214.
- Baltimore, MD: Join us at the Great Baltimore Oyster Festival to celebrate the mighty oyster while enjoying five varieties of oysters, specialty foods, boat tours, music, and more! Hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Waterfront Partnership, and Healthy Harbor. Online registration is closed, but still come on out! Entry to the event is free, and oyster plates will be available for purchase on-site. Click here for more info!
- Queen Anne's County, MD: Come paddle with us on Southeast Creek, just off the Chester River. Southeast Creek is a prime example of a healthy tidal Eastern Shore creek, replete with large expanses of tidal marsh, abundant wildlife dominated by various species of bird life, and a watershed consisting mainly of farmland. The paddle is comfortable and peaceful, offering up close views of herons fishing in the shallows and wood ducks nesting in the many trees along the banks. Click here to register!
- Monkton, MD: Trick or treat! There’s nothing scarier than poor water quality! This Halloween, come help CBF plant 800 trees to restore four acres of forest on a farm. The planting of this forest buffer will help protect the Little Gunpowder, a natural reproducing trout stream. Click here to register!
- Luray, VA: Get your hands dirty, planting trees on a Virginian farm! This forested buffer will filter polluted runoff and cool streams. Click here for more info!
- Cambridge, MD: Come help CBF plant 800 native trees to restore a four-acre buffer to the Chicamacomico River. The farm is legally protected from development and now work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is being done to restore wetlands at the site that provide wildlife habitat and filter runoff. This area is critical habitat for the federally-listed Delmarva fox squirrel and coastal dependent birds including salt marsh sparrows and American black duck. Click here to register!
—Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate