Advocacy Feed

Bay Money in Virginia Budget

Virginia is well on the way to approving critically needed funding for Chesapeake Bay restoration.

Late last week, Gov. Bob McDonnell released his proposed amendments to Virginia’s new two-year budget adopted earlier by the Virginia General Assembly. This was the next step in approving a budget that includes $87.6 million to help Virginia localities pay for upgrades to their sewage treatment plants, among the larger sources of pollution plaguing the Bay.

While the Assembly will have the last word on the governor’s amendments, it’s likely the Bay funding will remain intact. That’s very important for the Bay, local rivers, and local governments.

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While Building Market Sleeps, Some Counties Are Busy Encouraging Future Sprawl

SprawlThere may not be a lot of homes or businesses being built in the current real estate market, but there are major attempts to open farmland for developers when they’re ready.   

In Maryland at least, a new but untested state law might be the best defense against land speculators’ further incursion into the countryside.

A group of environmental groups and property owners filed a lawsuit Thursday, Dec. 8, against the county commissioners of Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, to stop the latest attempt by some local governments to pave over our rural landscape.

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The Future in the Balance: Community vs. Sprawl

Cambridge etc. 063 The next few days may determine the future of Cambridge, Maryland. 

The Cambridge City Council will decide, perhaps as early as Monday, whether to chart a new course for the Eastern Shore town's economic development away from strip malls, chain restaurants, and sprawl, and toward a healthy downtown.

The city’s planning commission has offered a new blueprint for the city, a Comprehensive Plan that proposes to revitalize Cambridge from the inside. The plan envisions micro-financing loans to encourage downtown entrepreneurs, as well as training and mentoring; development along the downtown waterfront; improved streets and intersections for bikers and walkers; and a "green belt" around the city beyond which no development will be allowed, as well as other measures.

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A Fish Eye's View of the Chesapeake Bay

UnderwatergrassesHow about this for a fish-eye's view of the state of the Chesapeake Bay?  This is a shot of underwater grasses thriving near Havre de Grace, Maryland, as seen by a lensman (Octavio Aburto) looking up at an angler in a boat. I'm not sure the vision of a fisherman overhead would make the fish feel secure.  But in our view, this view is encouraging, because underwater grasses have been expanding in the Bay the last few years, which is both a sign and a source of improving water quality.

This picture was taken as part of a photography campaign to build public support for new federal clean water legislation, called the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Act, whose fate Congress may decide in the next 10 days.

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Clean Water Act Advances with Broad Bi-Partisan Support

Written by Patrick Miller, CBF Director of Community Building and Web Services

Early yesterday morning the CBF carpool headed to D.C. so that we could watch as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee considered the Chesapeake Clean Water Act and answer any questions reporters might have.

We had heard the vote was going to be tight and in this political environment a contentious bill limping out of the committee is likely going to quietly die. Leadership has asked its members to take many tough votes recently: health care, financial reform, TARP, etc and wants to minimize subjecting them to additional contentious votes.

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A different sort of populist revolt; Cambridge demands smart growth

Progress toward a cleaner Chesapeake Bay can’t always be measured in nutrient loads alone.  In Cambridge, MD positive change seems to have occurred at a certain boiling point of citizen upset.
Cambridge is a small Eastern Shore city on the banks of the Choptank River that gained notoriety only a few years ago for approving a massive resort development near the fragile Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Now the city is becoming a beacon of green civic consciousness.

"It’s almost like a 180-degree change," says Bill Giese, a community activist.

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