Today, CBF issued "Climate Change and the Chesapeake," [pdf] a report highlighting the challenges facing the watershed and recommending needed actions. The challenges come from rising water temperatures, which harm underwater grasses and deplete dissolved oxygen levels; and higher sea levels, which could drown wetlands and bays, including environmentally critical wetlands.
Fortunately, the fight to reduce the greenhouse gases that cause climate change is not unlike the challenge we face in cleaning up and restoring the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. And many of the solutions are the same. The agricultural conservation practices necessary to remove the Bay and its tributaries from the nation's "dirty waters" list will also sequester substantial amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, according to a recent Yale study [pdf]. CBF is urging officials to include more farm assistance money for the Bay region in the federal Farm Bill being reauthorized this year and has just been successful in getting the historic Resource Enhancement and Protection Act authorized in Pennsylvania.
"Agriculture clearly is not the only option," says CBF Senior Scientist Beth McGee. "We need to do other things, but the advantage of agriculture is we can do it now."
For more information, we have also added new climate change information to our website.