But don't worry . . . we'll be back real soon to tell more stories of the Chesapeake and how our waters are so important to our health, economy, and way of life. In the meantime, be sure to check out some of the events we have going on in the field this spring—from tree plantings to oyster restoration workshops to Bay Discovery trips on our skipjack the Stanley Norman! Come join us in the field to help Save the Bay!
The following first appeared in The Talbot Spy.
Residents of Cambridge, this spring you can win an unusual prize: a yard make-over at no cost. And in the process you can help clean up the waters around the city, and the Chesapeake Bay. Oh, and everybody gets a free 'rain barrel.'
The whole idea is the brainchild of the Cambridge Clean Water Advisory Committee. The group wants to encourage practical, low-cost activities that can improve water quality in the city.
The process is simple. Interested residents must first attend a workshop that's happening at the Dorchester County Public Library in Cambridge, Wednesday, March 22, 5:30-7:00 p.m. You will receive information about what possible changes could be made in your yard that treat polluted runoff.
For instance, "rain gardens" are a type of beautiful garden that also soaks up rain running off your property. This is helpful because this runoff often contains pollution from the air or the landscape. The pollution usually ends up in local creeks. You won't make any commitments at the workshops, just learn about possibilities for a make-over.
If you're still interested, next you will receive a free visit after the workshop from a professional landscaper who will look at your yard, talk with you, and come up with ideas such as rain gardens, native plants, pavement removal, and other possible modifications best suited for your yard.
You'll pay nothing for the make-over if you are selected. Only five properties will be chosen in the first year of the two-year program. In the second year, financial support drops from 100 percent to 90 percent as a way to encourage early participation.
Both homeowners and renters are eligible to enroll. Those of limited means are particularly encouraged to step forward as the project is intended, in part, to respond to needs in under-served communities. A community survey accessible online here will further help reveal how much people know about water quality and ways to improve it. All survey respondents are eligible to enter to win a $40 Jimmie & Sooks Raw Bar and Grill gift card.
Pre-registration is required to attend the workshop on March 22nd. Each workshop participant will receive a free rain barrel and instructions on how to install it. For more information and to register, contact Hilary Gibson at 410-543-1999 or email@example.com.
Fertilizers, soil, oil, grease, and other contaminants run off private property when it rains. Until now, cities such as Cambridge have been left with the responsibility to deal with this problem. It's difficult and expensive, especially to manage runoff from private property.
The work in Cambridge seeks to treat runoff before it becomes the city's responsibility. Recognizing the burden of treating runoff once it reaches the city's drainage system, the Cambridge Clean Water Advisory Committee of private and public partners stepped in to try to demonstrate how runoff volumes and contaminants can be reduced before that point. Funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation was awarded to pilot a program that offers homeowners and renters incentives to install native plantings, swales and other practices that naturally filter runoff on private property – minimizing runoff volumes and pollutants for the city to handle later.
—Alan Girard, CBF Director of Maryland Eastern Shore
On the day dedicated to appreciating the value of planting trees, that is exactly what a work detail of Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) staff, a handful of students, and a state senator did at a park in southcentral Pennsylvania.
The planting was a few trees short of that achieved in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day in 1872. The state Board of Agriculture back then said "set aside one day to plant trees, both forest and fruit," and offered prizes to those who planted the largest number of trees. More than one million were planted that day.
"One of the cheapest and easiest ways to protect and filter our waters is to plant trees," state Senator Rich Alloway (R-33rd District) said during a break from wielding a sledgehammer. He spent hours driving in stakes that support tube shelters to protect newly-planting seedlings. Senator Alloway's Chief of Staff, Jeremy Shoemaker, and Legislative Director Chad Reichard were also there to help.
Pennsylvania is significantly behind in meeting its clean water commitments to reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment runoff into rivers and streams. Trees are an effective solution.
Trees and their roots can filter as much as 60 percent of nitrogen, 40 percent of phosphorus and nearly half of sediment in polluted runoff. A single mature oak tree can absorb over 40,000 gallons of water per year. Trees also provide flood control, cool water for brook trout, wildlife habitat, and even improve the air we breathe.
Senator Alloway represents Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties, and is a Pennsylvania member of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. He has been a strong advocate for clean water and for planting trees to keep rivers and streams clean.
"We are behind in the number of trees we are supposed to be planting," Senator Alloway said. "I've challenged my colleagues in the Senate and my fellow neighbors to go out and plant trees." The Senator has set a goal to plant 10,000 trees in his district this year. "We are on our way," he added. "We've got quite a few in the ground already, but we need more help from you. All citizens can go out and make a difference."
Seniors from Shippensburg and Big Spring high schools helped with the Arbor Day tree planting, as did Marel King, Pennsylvania director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. Shippensburg Township Supervisors Linda Asper, Steve Oldt, and Marc Rideout were there to offer encouragement and appreciation.
The crew worked under the supervision of CBF restoration specialist Kristen Hoke.
The student involvement was also part of CBF's new Mentors in Agricultural Conservation job-shadowing program in Pennsylvania. About 25 students signed up for the mentoring program to do restoration work and learn first-hand about conservation projects on farms.
When they were finished with the planting, Big Spring senior Truman Heberlig wanted to know if he could get groups of students help plant trees at other projects.
With financial support from the Arbor Day Foundation, CBF purchased roughly 14,000 trees through local conservation district tree sales for planting this year. Last year, CBF gave away 12,280 trees to 148 landowners in 14 Pennsylvania counties through the same partnership. The trees are used to plant new buffers, as was done in Shippensburg on Arbor Day, and to repair existing streamside buffers.
The same evening the Arbor Day trees were planted, CBF Watershed Restoration Program Manager Clair Ryan was in Nebraska accepting the national "Good Steward Award" from the Arbor Day Foundation. It was awarded for CBF's efforts in planting trees, adding buffers to streams, and improving water quality in the Commonwealth.
Just weeks before that, CBF Pennsylvania received the prestigious Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence for helping landowners plant thousands of trees, and reducing pollution of rivers and streams in the Commonwealth.
—B.J. Small, CBF Pennsylvania Media and Communications Coordinator
Climate change is a prototype of a truly global issue. Low-lying islands in the Pacific are being lost to sea-level rise; food supplies are threatened with record-setting droughts in Africa; beetles which were previously killed by freezing temperatures are destroying forests in the western United States. These are just a few examples among many of the impact climate change is having around the world. Add to the list: the warming waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
According to Maryland's Center for Environmental Science, water temperatures have risen on average 1.2 °F since the 1980s across more than 92 percent of the Bay and its rivers and streams. This increased temperature decreases the water's capacity to hold dissolved oxygen, exacerbating the Bay's fish-killing dead zones. The decreased oxygen squeezes fish into smaller and smaller areas of the water column, and contributes to algal blooms. Rising temperatures also stress other temperature sensitive species, such as eel grass. Added altogether, warming the Bay dramatically impacts the entire ecosystem.
Facing a problem of climate change's magnitude can quickly become overwhelming. Research shows in fact, that the immensity of the issue contributes to alarming apathy. As with most issues this large and complex, there are no silver bullet solutions. Rather, small, incremental solutions amount to significant change when brought to scale. And often, these solutions are local in nature.
A recent report highlights how fighting stormwater runoff is an effective strategy in combating climate change. Rain falling on baking asphalt and concrete, then funneling into our waterways, heats the Bay and its rivers and streams. By decreasing the amount of impervious surface and through better stormwater management, we can fight this trend, and decrease the water temperature. And perhaps not coincidentally, help clean the water as well. Talk about a win-win.
This Week in the Watershed: Warming Waters, Striped Bass, and Scooping the Poop
- Good news for the James River, as a recent report declares it is healthier than in decades. (Daily Press—VA)
- Microbeads, tiny plastics found in products ranging from toothpaste to cosmetics, are polluting our water supply. Pennsylvania is planning to hold a hearing on the issue after the budget impasse is resolved, potentially following Maryland's lead by passing legislation banning microbeads. (York Dispatch—PA)
- The waters of the Chesapeake Bay are warming. If the trend continues, it could "worsen fish-suffocating dead zones and alter the food web on which the bay's fish and crabs depend." (Baltimore Sun—MD)
- A survey of juvenile striped bass in Maryland brought good news, as it found reproduction twice the long-term average. (Bay Journal)
- Thousands of dead menhaden washed up on Virginia's Eastern Shore after a fishing accident. (Daily Press—VA)
- ICYMI: The Richmond County Board of Supervisors voted to delay the vote on the development of Fones Cliffs. (Free Lance Star—VA)
- Picking up after your dog might not seem like a big deal, but as this editorial reveals, dog waste has enough bacteria and viruses that it can cause serious health issues in humans. Don't forget to scoop the poop! (Frederick News-Post—MD)
What's Happening Around the Watershed?
- Keymar, MD: Help CBF plant over 800 trees and shrubs on a dairy farm in Frederick County. This stream buffer will help provide clean water in the Monocacy River Watershed. Register here!
- Upper Marlboro, MD: Come on out to CBF's Clagett Farm for a fun-filled afternoon with friends, live music, craft-brewed beers, and mouth-watering food created by area chefs using local ingredients at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Burgers and Brews for the Bay event. Learn more and buy tickets here!
- York, PA: A good time is to be had by all at BrewVino. Residents can meet neighbors looking to protect local waterways and learn about new opportunities to get involved in ensuring clean water, healthy communities, and a thriving economy for York County. Oh, and there will be good food! Click here to register!
- Washington, DC: Join USGBC-NCR for "Building for Climate Resilience: Adaptions and Strategies." Part of USGBC-NCR's lead-up to Greenbuild Voices on Resilience Campaign, this event will feature a panel of expert practitioners discussing real-world examples of projects designed and engineered to withstand our changing environment. Click here to learn more!
- 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!
- 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!
—Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate
Veterans and their families enjoyed a day of paddling and fishing, food, and live music at the first-ever "Veterans on the Susquehanna" event in Wrightsville, York County, on Saturday, Aug. 29. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Heroes on the Water–Central Pennsylvania Chapter, and the Cumberland Valley and Muddy Creek chapters of Trout Unlimited joined forces to host the day.
Shank's Mare Outfitters, along the Susquehanna River, was the ideal setting to honor the sacrifices made by veterans, to spend the afternoon on the water, and to appreciate why clean water counts in York County and across the Commonwealth.
Our "Clean Water Counts: York" campaign is underway in York County. Its goal is to make residents aware of local water quality issues and solutions, and to build and motivate advocacy to reduce water pollution in the county and across the Commonwealth. There are 19,000 miles of impaired waterways across Pennsylvania; 350 miles are in York County.
"The iconic waterways flowing through York County's diverse community are a part of the local way of life," said CBF's Pennsylvania Outreach and Advocacy Manager Amanda John. "'Clean water counts: York' is bringing together individuals, businesses, and organizations from around the county to make sure elected officials are made aware of pollution protections those waterways need."
York County commissioners Doug Hoke and Chris Reilly attended the event.
Veterans and their families paddled the Susquehanna and fished under the watchful eyes of guides from Heroes on the Water. Heroes on the Water, many of them veterans themselves, also provided kayaks and fishing gear.
U.S. Army veteran Francine Praught of Lancaster was all smiles as she paddled out onto the Susquehanna. Praught admitted to catching more grasses than fish, and that getting out and enjoying time on the river was the ultimate goal of her day.
Air Force veterans Daniel Schaan of Washington, D.C., and Sarah Shaffer of Etters, shared the Susquehanna experience in a tandem kayak. Marines Corps veteran Daniel Graff of York and his son, "DJ," were guided on the water by Joe Pegnetter. Graff and his son later added fly-casting lessons to their experience.
Muddy Creek Trout Unlimited volunteers Chris Haag, Kelly Warren, Andrew Kimsey, and Alan Howe of Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited, helped guests get into the swing of things, by sharing fly-casting techniques with all who wanted to learn them. Joe Myers of Wrightsville and Sue Ferrell of Mt. Wolf attended the event for the fly-casting instructions alone. Myers had recently gotten a fly rod and was anxious to learn how to use it.
Not able to attend in person, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey sent his best wishes in a letter recognizing participants and organizers. "For nearly two and a half centuries, Americans have selflessly risen to answer the call of freedom," Senator Pat Toomey said. "From Lexington and Concord, to Gettysburg, Normandy, Korea, Vietnam, and most recently Afghanistan and Iraq; American soldiers have gone to the ends of the earth to fight oppression and tyranny, and to uphold the cause of freedom. Many brave Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice for defending our freedoms and never returned home to see their families."
Senator Toomey added that, "It is fitting that we gather together on occasions like these to express our gratitude for all that our armed service members, current and past, have done to protect our way of life and keep our nation free."
"We're thrilled to partner with Heroes on the Water and local Trout Unlimited chapters and to see nearly 100 local veterans and supporters gain so much from their experiences on and around the water," CBF's John added. "We look forward to hosting a second annual 'Veterans on the Susquehanna' in 2016 to honor and celebrate the sacrifice and bravery of even more of these local heroes."
— B.J. Small, CBF's Pennsylvania Media and Communications Coordinator
It might be a bit cliché, but the truth still stands that you can't solve a problem until you recognize its existence. While polluted runoff is a problem we have been fighting for years, this week we found evidence that it is wreaking havoc on freshwater streams and lakes in Maryland. We also released milestone reports revealing that while progress has been made towards saving our Bay and its rivers and streams, there is still much work to be done.
Our response is continuing the work to save the Bay, through restoring the native oyster population, bringing teachers into the field so they can inspire the next generation of clean water advocates, and taking the fight for the Bay to the courtroom. Also this week we are working to raise the voices of the 17 million citizens who live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed in advance of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council's meeting on July 23. TAKE ACTION: Tell your Governor and the EPA that clean water restoration must move forward!
This week in the Watershed: Dirty Streams, Restoring Oysters, and Teaching Teachers
- CBF has partnered with Hood College, Howard Community College, and Harford Community College, in a study exposing alarming levels of bacteria in Maryland streams, particularly after heavy rain. (Baltimore Sun—MD) Read more about this stream study in our Press Release.
- In efforts to fully implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint by 2025, the states of the Chesapeake Bay watershed have committed to two-year incremental goals called Milestones. CBF and Choose Clean Water Coalition evaluated clean water progress for Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. (CBF Press Releases)
- CBF President Will Baker and CBF PA Executive Director Harry Campbell discuss all things Pennsylvania water quality on WITF's "Smart Talk." (WITF—PA)
- There are few activities more helpful in saving the Bay than oyster restoration. CBF is in the thick of building sanctuary reefs. (Bay Journal)
- Speaking of oyster restoration, this group in Carroll County, Maryland is doing great work, collecting and recycling old oyster shells. (Bay Journal)
- Recently we took legal action to challenge Virginia's rules for large livestock farms, arguing the state is failing to protect streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay by allowing farm animals unfettered access to streams. This week that lawsuit was unfortunately dismissed. Stay tuned for updates on this important issue. (Richmond Times-Dispatch—VA)
- Fourteen teachers from Pennsylvania and Virginia went paddling, turned over rocks, and studied forestry and soils during a two-day workshop this week, co-sponsored by CBF. (CBF Press Release)
- The writers of this editorial deserve high-fives and fist-bumps all around for clearly and convincingly arguing the need for the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint in saving the Bay. (Frederick News-Post—MD)
What's Happening around the Watershed?
- Join CBF for an evening of exploring the beautiful lower Susquehanna River. Explore a unique stretch of the Susquehanna, paddling by plants and animals that call these ecosystems home while discussing how land use and pollution have affected the overall habitat of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Click here to register!
- Folks on the Eastern Shore of Virginia are invited to learn about native plant landscaping at an exciting, educational event: "Trees, Bees, and Clean Water: Connecting the Dots." Experts will help attendees learn about the pollinating power of birds, butterflies, and bees, how to landscape to reduce polluted runoff, how to build a rain garden, and more. Space is limited and registration is required. E-mail Tatum Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot!
In preparation for stormwater medallion placement on July 30, CBF will be distributing door hangers with information about how citizens can reduce their impact on the waterways! E-mail Blair Blanchette at email@example.com or call 804/780-1392 to participate.
Join CBF as we place stormwater medallions in Oak Grove, Richmond. This unique volunteer opportunity allows you to have a positive impact on the Bay while also using a caulk gun! E-mail Blair Blanchette at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804/780-1392 to participate.
This annual benefit for CBF draws kayakers, paddle boarders and all kinds of other paddlers—from novice to advanced—from far and wide for a race at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. CBF is looking for 5-6 volunteers to assist in event/race logistics and share information with the attendees. To volunteer please e-mail or call Tanner Council at email@example.com or 757/622-1964. To join the races, click here!
—Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate
Conflict, and particularly conflict against a strong opposition, is fundamental to every good story. The story of saving the Bay is no different. Over the past several decades, voluntary commitments by states to clean their waterways were never met. Indeed, in a sea of good intentions, the water only became more polluted.
Enter the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. The states in the watershed agreed to two-year incremental milestones of pollution reduction, with the EPA having the enforcement power to impose consequences for failure. Finally, the fight for clean water had some teeth. Shortly thereafter however, powerful special interests with enormous influence attacked the new agreement.
Led by the American Farm Bureau Federation, national agricultural and development industry groups challenged the Blueprint's pollution limits in court. In September 2013, Judge Sylvia Rambo ruled affirming the legality of the Blueprint. The fight continued as the Farm Bureau group appealed Rambo's decision, this time joined by attorneys general from 21 states supporting their efforts.
A new, and hopefully final, chapter in this conflict was written on Monday, with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals denying the Farm Bureau group appeal. With this victory for clean water the work to save the Bay and it's rivers and streams continues, focusing our efforts on the implementation of the Blueprint—the Bay's best, and perhaps last chance, for real restoration.
This week in the Watershed: A Historic Victory for Clean Water, Restoring Streams, and Loving Trees
- As already noted, the big news this week was the court ruling upholding the legality of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. With such big news and accompanying coverage, it deserves a list of its own: CBF Press Release, Associated Press, Washington Post, Think Progress, Baltimore Sun, Bay Journal
- We couldn't agree more with this editorial, claiming the need of the EPA's enforcement powers for the success of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. (Richmond Times-Dispatch—VA)
- Arlington County in northern Virginia has been doing great work around stream restoration. (Arlington Connection—VA)
- As reported last week, CBF went to court in Virginia, suing the state to fence farm animals out of streams. Jon Mueller, CBF VP for Litigation, argued on July 2, "We got to where we are today [with a polluted Bay] because [agreements to clean the Bay] were non-binding." (Richmond Times-Dispatch—VA)
- Harry Campbell, CBF's Pennsylvania Executive Director, discusses the importance of trees in the fight for clean water. (The Sentinel—PA)
What's Happening around the Watershed?
- Enjoy a leisurely guided hike along the Gwynns Falls Trail through Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park. A guest speaker will bring to life the history of this the second largest urban park in the country. Click here to register! Deadline to register is July 7.
- Attend the U.S. Green Building Council's National Capital Region's "A Midnight Summer's Dream" Gala. This annual fundraiser has been the premier summer networking event for the DC metro area’s green building community for over a decade. Click here for more information!
- Join CBF for an evening of exploring the unique and beautiful lower Susquehanna River. Explore a unique stretch of the Susquehanna, paddling by plants and animals that call these unique ecosystems home while discussing how land use and pollution have affected the overall habitat of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Click here to register!
- Folks on the Eastern Shore of Virginia are invited to learn about native plant landscaping at an exciting, educational event: "Trees, Bees, and Clean Water: Connecting the Dots." Experts will help attendees learn about the pollinating power of birds, butterflies, and bees, how to landscape to reduce polluted runoff, how to build a rain garden, and more! Space is limited and registration is required. E-mail Tatum Ford at TFord@cbf.org to reserve your spot!
- Get on the water with a kayak trip on Bear Creek, near Baltimore. A unique experience on urban waters, you will see the impact of suburban development on the land and water, paddle close to the infamous Sparrows Point, and hear from a local environmental group about what's being done in the area. Click here to register! Deadline to register is July 17.
—Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate
Like the mighty Susquehanna, which dumps 25 billion gallons of water into the Chesapeake Bay every day, the work to save the Bay and its rivers and streams is never stagnant. In this work, few things matter more than an educated and enthusiastic citizenry. Accordingly, it is our desire here at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation that the 17 million people who live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are informed of all the Bay happenings and also engaged with opportunities to enjoy nature and serve through volunteering.
With that goal in mind, every Friday be sure to visit our blog to get your fill of the week's top stories and learn what's happening around the watershed.
This week in the Watershed: Spring Cleaning, Chickens, and Horses of the Sea Variety
- The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's 27th Annual "Clean the Bay Day" was a smashing success with over 6,000 volunteers helping collect 125,000 pounds of trash, all in just three hours! (Virginian Pilot—VA)
- With Tampa Bay restoring its underwater grasses, the Chesapeake Bay has a great example for achieving clean water. (Reuters)
- A seahorse was found in a baby oyster cage near CBF's Brock Environmental Center! (Virginian Pilot—VA)
- Did we mention how much of a success Clean the Bay Day was? (Daily Press—VA)
- The opening of bass season in Pennsylvania is drawing attention to the poor water quality throughout many of Pennsylvania's rivers and streams, particularly the Susquehanna. (Daily Local News—PA)
- EPA released an interim assessment of progress made under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. The findings show most states are generally on track but one state is alarmingly off track to meet their pollution reduction commitments. Read CBF's state-specific assessments of their findings in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.
What's Happening around the Watershed?
- Those interested in oyster gardening for the first time or those looking to pick up new baby oysters can attend an oyster gardening workshop in Kinsale, VA.
- CBF is hosting it's 10th Annual "Bands in the Sand" benefit concert, headlined this year by The Bacon Brothers. Due to unprecedented demand, this year's concert is sold out!
- Another opportunity for those interested in oyster gardening for the first time or those looking to pick up new baby oysters to attend an oyster gardening workshop, this time in Newport News, VA.
- Those who have been growing oysters can plant them in the Patuxent River.
- Get outside and get your hands dirty, helping plant 400 trees and shrubs along Swatara Creek in Londonderry, PA. E-mail Kate Austin at KAustin@cbf.org to register!
- Yet another opportunity for those interested in oyster gardening for the first time or those looking to pick up new baby oysters to attend an oyster gardening workshop, this time in Deltaville, VA.
- The Clean Water Concert Series continues on Maryland's Eastern Shore, as the XPD's perform in Easton, MD.
- Love paddle boarding? Then put on your calendar "Cape 2 Cape," a festival celebrating paddle boarding through a 19-mile race across the Bay and various Father's Day races. All proceeds benefit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
- Interested in advocating for clean water in Virginia? Attend the 5th Annual Clean Water Captains workshop in Virginia Beach. E-mail Lori Kersting at LKersting@cbf.org for more information.
- Get on the water with CBF on Susquehanna's West Branch, often described as a "recreation mecca." On this canoe adventure you'll learn about the native ecosystem and explore the verdant valley, paddling by plants and animals that call these unique ecosystems home. Click here to register!
- Help restore the Chesapeake's native oyster population by cleaning oyster shells (we call it "shell shaking") by shaking off the dirt and debris so baby oysters can successfully grow on them. Registration is required!
—Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate
Every June, roughly 6,000 dedicated volunteers from across Virginia join us in removing more than 135,000 pounds of trash from 500 miles of our rivers, streams, and Bay. Clean the Bay Day, a Virginia tradition 27 years in the making, is one of the largest volunteer clean-up efforts in Virginia.
And just like the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—the science-based federal/state plan to Save the Bay—it represents a coming together of municipalities, businesses, and individuals who care about the health of our waters, our economy, our way of life. It's inspiring to see so many committed to the clean water cause across the Commonwealth.
CBF's Senior Manager of Digital Media
The Eastern Shore of Maryland has a great deal to be thankful for. From the rich history of the beautiful colonial towns that dot the landscape, to the farms and forests that stretch from Cecil to Worcester Counties, we are in a unique position to enjoy the "Land of Pleasant Living."
Of course, we also have the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams right in our own backyard. The Bay has long supported the livelihoods of many who live and work here, but it impacts our lives far beyond our valuable fishing and tourism industries. The Bay brings us together as a community: It's part of our heritage, and we need to work hard to ensure that it is fishable and swimable for future generations to enjoy.
To help raise awareness about the Bay and involve the community in its restoration, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is partnering with the Avalon Foundation to host a series of concerts in downtown Easton. The series kicked off in June with a Farmer's Market concert featuring national recording artist Susan Werner, who wowed the crowd by singing and telling stories about her own agricultural background. The event continued with a ticketed show at the Avalon Theatre with Susan, followed a week later by an outdoor, block-party-style concert featuring the XPDs on June 8. We conclude the series with a final concert on June 29, this one featuring the popular and fun Eastport Oyster Boys.
At each concert, CBF volunteers and staff are prompting people to share stories about the Chesapeake Bay and its value in their lives. It is amazing to hear about all of the ways in which clean water motivates us, from those who grew up fishing and swimming in the Bay, to people who came to this area because of the beauty and opportunity provided by this important resource. The Chesapeake Bay brings us together as a community, and we all have a story to share about the many ways it impacts our lives.
And now with the science-based, multi-state, bi-partisan Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint guiding it's restoration, we can unite as a community around clean water. We may all have different backgrounds, and often we have different opinions. But our connection to the Bay and to this area is something we all have in common.
This is the moment in time for the Chesapeake Bay, and for the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This is the moment to restore our national treasure and ensure that the oysters, crabs, and finfish that call this area home will thrive. And most importantly, it is the moment to guarantee that future generations have their own stories to share with their children and grandchildren about the Bay. We'll see you Saturday!
—Photos and Text by Bess Trout, CBF's Eastern Shore Grassroots Field Specialist