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Pollution Revolution

NewPhotos courtesy of CBF Staff.

Trash is a visible reminder of the harm polluted runoff can do to our waterways. When it rains, water carries trash and other pollution off streets and into storm drains. Often, this polluted runoff flows unfiltered into neighborhood streams and the Chesapeake Bay. Fed by a vast network of streams, Baltimore's Jones Falls funnels water—and pollution—into the City's Inner Harbor.

Smart collaboration has delivered an innovative solution. Just beyond Pierce's Park in downtown Baltimore, floating in the Jones Falls between Pier VI and the Marriott, a shiny, arched, solar-powered robot silently and efficiently collects trash from the stream. The wheel quietly sweeps bottles, tires, and tree limbs into a huge trash bin for collection.

The water wheel is the brain child of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore's Healthy Harbor Initiative, an alliance of Baltimore businesses dedicating time and resources to its goal of a fishable, swimmable harbor by 2020. This fascinating aluminum arthropod was conceived by local inventor John Kellett and funded by Constellation Energy and the Maryland Port Administration. The city is paying the maintenance costs.

14677830705_e33cc1b657_o"The fact that an Internet video of the water wheel operating has gone viral—receiving [more than] one million views—is proof that people care," said Michael Hankin, Chairman of the Waterfront Partnership Board of Directors and CEO of Brown Advisory. "What the water wheel is doing to clean up the trash and debris from the Inner Harbor is powerful."

But can a water wheel save the harbor? Certainly not by itself and that's the point: One wheel, no matter how innovative and efficient, can't possibly produce a swimmable harbor by 2020. That's why CBF is working in partnership with the Waterfront Partnership, the National Aquarium, Blue Water Baltimore, the city, and others to help reduce polluted runoff in Baltimore. Together, we can achieve the state and federal mandates required under the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint.

The state recently issued a permit that requires the city to reduce polluted runoff from 20 percent of the city by the end of 2018. But the city controls just five percent of hard urban surfaces (streets, playgrounds, rooftops). The partner groups can help coordinate and energize businesses, the faith community, civic groups, not-for-profits, and others, to accelerate existing programs to reduce contaminated runoff.

The water wheel and Pierce's Park (another Waterfront Partnership polluted runoff-reduction project) are prime examples of how to reduce pollution in the city. Much more needs to be done to achieve the water-quality goals, such as removing pavement where possible, creating pocket parks, and planting green roofs and urban gardens. These improvements not only slow down polluted runoff, but they will  create cleaner, healthier places to live. They will also provide jobs for city residents and help sustain local businesses. Community volunteers caring for gardens and parks, removing litter, and cleaning alleyways generate pride and a renewed sense of ownership.

Hankin has vowed to be the first to jump into the harbor in 2020 and he has challenged CBF President Will Baker to join him. Yet if his vision is to succeed, it will take the work of many hands, many hours, and many projects. The puzzle pieces are there to produce the kinds of results we can see with every revolution of the water wheel.

—Terry Cummings, CBF's Director of the Baltimore Initiative

The Cost of Doing Nothing to Clean Up County Water

The following first appeared in the
Frederick News-Post.

As Frederick County leaders reportedly negotiate with the state how much they should have to comply with state and federal clean water requirements (“County asks state not to mandate stormwater costs exceeding $47M” Oct. 1), consider a few facts:

  • After a modest rainstorm in September, the water of Carroll Creek where it runs through Baker Park had an average bacteria reading more than 300 times higher than the safe limit for swimming established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The creek isn’t used for swimming but the reading was an indication of how foul it was after the storm.

  • Carroll Creek and other small streams that feed the Lower Monocacy were first officially identified as impaired for bacteria in 2009, based on water tests conducted in 2002-2003. Investigators found bacteria in Carroll and other creeks was coming from local livestock manure, and from local waste from pets, humans, and wildlife. The provisions of the federal Clean Water Act of 1972 mandated a clean-up plan.  

  • In its negotiations, county leaders have proposed reducing pollution runoff during the next five years on about one-fourth the acres that the state requires, according to the News-Post article.  

I understand the obstacles the county faces in trying to clean up its local water. Once creeks are polluted it’s expensive to clean them up. The county has estimated it would cost $462 per year per household to reduce polluted urban runoff to county creeks and rivers to the extent proposed by the state. And that wouldn’t include potential changes farmers would have to make to prevent manure from reaching nearby creeks, or upgrades to small sewage plants. These estimates are likely to come down with innovation and by looking more carefully at the most cost-effective best management practices. Still, cost is a serious issue.

But discussing clean-up costs without also discussing economic benefits of that action is a one-sided conversation. A recent study indicates that investing in clean-up measures is like investing in a boom stock market.

A peer-reviewed study by Dr. Spencer Phillips of Key-Log Economics, and Dr. Beth McGee of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation found that cleaning up the region’s creeks, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay would yield an additional $20 billion per year in economic benefits to the region, $4.6 billion to Maryland a year.  

From filtering our drinking waters to producing our food and protecting us from expensive flooding and hurricanes, many of the benefits nature provides to us can be quantified economically. And improving the environment also adds to our economy. Fence a cow out of a stream and you not only prevent manure pollution, you also improve the health of your herd, and lower your veterinarian costs. Install garden-like areas called bioswales in key city drainage areas, and you not only filter polluted runoff, you reduce harmful flooding and increase real estate values. The list of win-win scenarios goes on.

The study by Phillips and McGee also concluded that the region stands to lose $6 billion annually in economic benefits if it opts to do little or nothing new to clean up its polluted creeks, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

Consider the benefit of doing the maximum possible in Frederick County to reduce the county’s polluted runoff. That effort would not only clean up nutrients and sediments that make Frederick creeks unfit for trout and other marine life, but also bacteria that threatens human health. Consider the impact of doing less. What is the cost to the county’s health, pride and general economic development of local streams that carry toilet water?  

We hope county leaders and residents keep all these factors in mind as they negotiate compliance with cleaning up their local waters. 

—Alison Prost, CBF's Maryland Executive Director

Photo of the Week: Hanging on to the Last Little Bit of Summer


Recently, my husband and I took our baby daughter down to our neighborhood dock to enjoy the glorious late summer weather and to try our hand at a little crabbing (catch and release!). These two guys held fast to the net even as we tried to release them, which made me think of the above title. 

KadyEverson2As a Maryland native, the ecology and long-term health of the Bay has always been a topic of great interest to me. Blue crabs are an integral part of the Bay, for ecological, cultural, and economic reasons. I applaud CBF's ongoing efforts to help stabilize the blue crab's population through education and advocacy.

I hope some day my daughter will be able to share these same types of moments with her children!

—Kady Waterhouse Everson, Worcester County, MD 

Ensure that Kady, her family, and future generations continue to enjoy magical sights like these along the Chesapeake. 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 Senior Manager of Digital Media, 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!


Clean Water, A Smart Investment

The following first appeared in the EcoWatch.

Portlock 1200
Photo by Bill Portlock/CBF Staff

Why reduce pollution in local rivers and streams? A new report, commissioned by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, found that cleaning up local waterways in the Chesapeake Bay region would provide nearly $130 billion annually in economic benefits. That's the estimated value of natural benefits like cleaner water, cleaner air, hurricane and flood protection, recreation, and fresh, healthy food and seafood.

But 21 attorneys general from across the country have joined the American Farm Bureau Federation and others to try and stop efforts to restore water quality in the Chesapeake Bay region.

The Chesapeake, just like other waterways around the country, suffers from vast dead zones, where the water has too little oxygen to support aquatic life. Those dead zones are created by nitrogen and phosphorus pollution.

After years of failed commitments to restore water quality, the region's states and the District of Columbia developed a Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. The plan includes pollution limits set jointly by the states and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, individual plans developed by each jurisdiction to achieve those limits, and two-year milestones that ensure transparency and accountability.

And it is under attack, both in the courts and in Congress.

Why? Critics like The Fertilizer Institute and the American Farm Bureau are suing in federal court to stop the blueprint. They have actually said that if we are successful, other parts of the country might have to reduce pollution too. In other words, if the blueprint improves the health of the bay, a similar effort could be coming to a watershed near them before too long. That's a problem only if you fear clean water.

The blueprint is working. Governments, businesses and individuals are rolling up their sleeves, working together, and making things happen to reduce pollution. Almost every sector of pollution is declining. Nature is responding and producing benefits for our health, the environment and our economy.

The report, The Economic Benefits of Cleaning Up the Chesapeake, found that the benefits nature provides to us will increase in value by more than $22 billion, a 21 percent increase as a result of fully implementing the blueprint. And we will reap those added benefits every year.

The peer-reviewed report, produced by economist Dr. Spencer Phillips and Chesapeake Bay Foundation water quality scientist Dr. Beth McGee, compared the value of those benefits in 2009, the year before the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint began being implemented, to the benefits that can be expected as a result of fully implementing the bay restoration plan.

The report estimates that the value of natural benefits from the pre-blueprint bay watershed, even in its polluted and degraded condition, at $107 billion. Once the blueprint is fully implemented and the benefits realized, that amount grows by 21 percent to $129.7 billion a year. Equally telling, if the region relaxes efforts and does little more to clean up the bay than what has been done to date, pollution will worsen and the value of bay benefits will decline by almost $6 billion.

The costs of inaction are serious. Think Toledo, where nitrogen and phosphorus pollution sparked a toxic algae bloom that contaminated the water supply. Residents were warned not to drink or have any physical contact with tap water.

The report addressed benefits, not costs. While there are no recent estimates of the total costs of bay cleanup implementation, a 2004 estimate put costs in the range of roughly $6 billion per year. Considering federal, state, and local investments in clean water in the 10 years since that time, Chesapeake Bay Foundation estimates the current number is closer to $5 billion annually. And once capital investments are made, the long-term annual operations and maintenance costs will be much lower. The result—the blueprint will return benefits to the region each year at a rate of more than four times the cost of the cleanup plan.

Clean water is important to the citizens of this region, and clean-up efforts have enjoyed the support of politicians of all stripes. While we are concerned about the opposition from national lobbying groups, we are confident that the Blueprint will succeed. The Chesapeake is the nation's estuary, with Washington, D.C. at the center of the watershed. Failure to save the bay is not an option. So we ask, if not here, where? And if not now, when?

—Will Baker, CBF President

Want Clean Rivers? Plant Trees!

May31_12_big5The following first appeared in the Bay Journal Newsservice.

Streams with tree-lined banks are two to eight times more capable of processing nutrients and organic matter than streams without a healthy fringe of trees. That's what scientists at the Stroud Water Research Center in Pennsylvania tell us. It doesn't matter if that organic matter comes from a sewage treatment plant or the back end of a cow.

Why? Streams flowing through woods have a thriving aquatic ecosystem full of microbes and insects that consume nutrients and organic matter. Forested streamsides, at least in the temperate Eastern United States, are a necessary component of healthy riverine systems.

More than 90 percent of the stream miles in the United States are headwater streams. These are "zero order" to "third order" streams: The ones that just bubble out of the ground to those that have no more than six tributaries entering upstream of them. Most of them don't even have names.

These countless small streams have a huge impact on the health of our rivers and estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay, the Albemarle Sound, and the Gulf of Mexico. In order to have healthy rivers in the temperate Eastern United States, it is imperative that most of these headwater streams have trees along their banks.

A streamside forest of native trees provides many important ecosystem services. Some are obvious, like stabilizing the stream banks, filtering out nutrients, providing shade and sequestering carbon. But trees do much more.

Native deciduous trees provide headwater streams with a lot of the food that aquatic microbes and insects such as mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies need for a thriving ecosystem. The hard work of all of these creatures make a stream capable of processing two to eight times more pollutants than a stream flowing through non-forested lands.

There are hundreds of species of aquatic insects that eat leaves; entomologists call them "shredders." Likewise there are many species of trees. The leaves from different trees have different nutritional values and each insect species prefers certain species over others and often grows best on the tree that it prefers. One species of caddisfly, for example, prefers tulip poplar leaves to river birch leaves. One species of mayfly prefers American sycamore leaves to white oak leaves.

To support a diverse community of aquatic insects, we need a diverse community of native trees to provide them with the food they need to help them do their work in processing material that enters the stream.

Leaves from non-native plants won't do. Scientists at the Stroud Water Research Center found no "shredder" that would eat the leaves of multiflora Rose. Sycamore, black willow, catalpa, and tulip poplar are more palatable and far superior at supplying food than tree of heaven, Bradford pear, and multiflora rose, all of which are invasive and nonnative.

Trees also help to cool water temperatures in streams during the summer. Cool summer temperatures are more natural and critical to a thriving aquatic ecosystem. Some native mayflies, for example, thrive at 68 degrees but perish at 70.

Trees do more. Sunlight intensity reaching the stream affects the type of algae that grow in the water. Direct sunlight favors long filamentous types of algae that are not desirable food for insects. The light levels beneath a tree canopy are ideal for single-celled algae, called diatoms, which are the preferred food of insects. These types of algae can also coat the surfaces of leaves, making them more palatable and nutritious to "shredder insects."

Many efforts are under way to improve our streams through reforestation. Farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, for example, have excluded livestock from more than 7,000 miles of streams and planted more than 6.5 million hardwood trees to form forested buffers for streams through U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. A restored Chesapeake Bay is within our reach through these kinds of efforts.

These farmers deserve our thanks and our support. We should encourage the continuation of programs that help them keep livestock out of streams, plant trees that trap sediment and nutrients and help detoxify polluted runoff containing pathogens and hormones that would otherwise end up in our water.

These leafy banks also help our streams become thriving aquatic ecosystems that support native trout, as well as a healthy, diverse aquatic community.

—Bobby Whitescarver

Help us plant more trees!

Saving the Bay Will Be an Economic Boon to Virginia

The following first appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Recreational fishermen try their luck on Virginia's Mattawoman Creek. Photo by Krista Schlyer/iLCP

Many thanks to the Richmond Times-Dispatch for its recent article about a new Chesapeake Bay Foundation report titled "The Economic Benefits of Cleaning Up the Chesapeake Bay." This first-of-its-kind report puts to rest the age-old debate of the environment versus the economy.

The analysis by our experts clearly demonstrates that the environment and the economy are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other.

Saving the bay is about more than ensuring seafood abundance. It's about achieving a high quality of life across Virginia and the bay's 64,000-square-mile watershed. And to do so, we must have clean air, clean water and healthy land.

Yes, restoring our air, water and lands will be not be easy, but the benefits to society are huge. They include environmental benefits, human health benefits and economic benefits, all of which are interwoven like the threads of a tapestry.

The CBF report, produced by natural resource economist Dr. Spencer Phillips and CBF Senior Scientist Dr. Beth McGee, is a serious, credible, peer-reviewed study that documents the bay's contributions to our regional economy. The authors followed standard economic protocols. Their methodology was not unique; in fact, many similar economic analyses have been published across the country and the world. But again, this is the first of its kind for the Chesapeake Bay.

The report found that in 2009, the year before the regional Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint plan to restore the bay began implementation, the value of the bay's natural benefits, even in their degraded state, was conservatively estimated at $107 billion annually.

The report then calculated the additional benefits a fully restored bay would bring to the region. Those are estimated to be nearly $130 billion, a 21 percent increase. In other words, the Clean Water Blueprint will increase benefits to the bay region by $22.5 billion a year. That's billion with a "b."

What are those benefits? They include cleaner air and water, greater agriculture and seafood production, higher property values, natural flood and storm protection and enhanced recreation, to name a few.

ECONben_VAIn Virginia, the report estimated a restored bay would return nearly $50 billion in benefits to the commonwealth, or an additional $8.3 billion a year, the most of any of the bay states. For example:

  • Aesthetics — the role that healthy natural areas play in attracting people to live, work and recreate in Virginia — would increase in value by $3.6 billion annually.
  • Waste treatment — the removal or breakdown of pollution by vegetation, microbes, and other organisms — will result in fewer, less toxic, lower volumes of pollutants in the system. The report estimates an increase in value of $2.1 billion annually.
  • Water supply, filtering, retention, storage and delivery of fresh water — both quality and quantity — for drinking, irrigation, industrial processes and other uses showed an increased value of $1.1 billion annually.

Clean rivers and streams and a healthy bay just make sense for the environment and public health, and as our report makes clear, for the economy. And the report underscores the significance of past investments by the General Assembly and the importance of Gov. Terry McAuliffe's "all in" approach to the blueprint and the new Chesapeake Bay Agreement. It is imperative that Virginia keep up the momentum and pursue full implementation of the blueprint's clean water strategies.

Unfortunately, there are insufficient funds in next year's budget to achieve Virginia's cleanup goals. While CBF recognizes current budget uncertainties, investing in a restored bay is clearly an investment in a more prosperous Virginia.

Therefore, CBF urges McAuliffe and the General Assembly to include adequate funding in the 2016 fiscal year state budget to help farmers and localities reduce polluted runoff. Runoff from farms, streets, parking lots and lawns continues to be among the most serious pollution fouling local streams, rivers and the Bay. Farmers need cost-share and technical assistance to implement soil-saving, pollution-reducing conservation practices, and localities need grant funds to better manage urban and suburban runoff.

As our report shows, these investments in water quality will not only boost efforts to build a new Virginia economy, they will pay dividends — $8.3 billion every year — to future generations.

—Ann Jennings, CBF's Virginia Executive Director

Photo of the Week: The View Changes Everyday

DSC_0078 (2)Shady Side, Maryland. Photo by Bob Johnson.

[This] photo captures the view from my deck and the diversity of the Bay.

We are graced to be living in the Chesapeake Bay wetlands. The wetlands are a transitional area where land meets water. It is rich in flora, birds, and other animals. We treasure the summer as ospreys roost and soar here. When they leave, bald eagles emerge to take their place. The view changes everyday as the cycles of the Bay, wildlife, and weather converge in this beautiful sanctuary.

—Bob Johnson 

Ensure that Bob and future generations continue to enjoy extraordinary sights like these along the Chesapeake. 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 Senior Manager of Digital Media, 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!

Dumpster Diving to Save the Bay

The following first appeared in the Huffington Post.

A collection of salvaged materials were used in the construction of the Brock Environmental Center.

Imagine taking the world's largest cruise ship and dumping it into a landfill 700 times a year.

Every year.

That's how much trash new building construction and demolition produces in the U.S. alone - that's approximately 160 million tons of sometimes toxic trash.

When we think about building for the future and what kind of legacy we're going to leave for our children, we need to revisit simple solutions like reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Twelve months ago, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation broke ground on the Brock Environmental Center—what will be one of the most energy efficient and environmentally smart education and community centers in the world. When completed later this fall, the center intends to meet the strictest LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge environmental standards.

When people think about cutting-edge architecture and design, they often think about high-costs and space-age technology. But a key component of the Living Building Challenge is to use as many recycled and reusable materials as possible to save natural resources, energy, and costs.

So for past year and a half, we've been dumpster diving to salvage and use materials for the Brock Center that otherwise would go to the local landfill. Here are just a few of the materials we've been able to reclaim along with the help from our builder and the Hampton Roads community: used sinks, doors, mirrors, counters, and cabinets from office buildings about to be remodeled or torn down were salvaged and will find new life in the Brock Center; old wooden school bleachers were saved and used as trim for the new center's doors and windows; maple flooring in the gymnasium of a former elementary school was removed, reinstalled, and resurfaced as new flooring in the center; used bike racks came from a local parks department; hundreds of champagne corks were collected for use as knobs and drawer-pulls in the center; student art tables will be used as counter tops; and old wooden paneling will be made into cabinets.

Our most unusual find, however, was the "sinke2014-10-10-Picture2-thumbr cypress" logs recovered from rivers and bayous in the Deep South. The logs are from first-growth cypress trees cut down more than a century ago but lost when they fell off barges and sank on the way to Southern sawmills.

The recently recovered logs—some of which are 500 to 1,000 years old—have been milled and used for the exterior siding of our new building. Instead of lying submerged forever in the mud of a Louisiana river bottom, these ancient cypress logs provide beautiful, natural, chemical-free weather-proofing for the new building.

The biggest lesson I've learned from all of this work is that you don't need new materials to build a new building. Twenty-first century buildings should use as much salvaged materials as possible in order to reduce waste and pollution and ensure that we can pass along a healthy planet to our children and grandchildren.

Our salvage and recycling efforts at the Brock Center, along with other innovative, cutting-edge technologies (solar and wind power, rainwater reuse, composting toilets, and natural lighting and ventilation, to name a few) reflect a deliberate effort to live our "Save the Bay" mission. The goal of the Brock Environmental Center is to integrate and support the surrounding Chesapeake Bay environment.

By engaging the greater community in our recycling efforts for the Brock Environmental Center, we're also helping educate citizens on smarter ways to build, live, and work near sensitive ecosystems like the Chesapeake Bay. The Brock Environmental Center not only raises the bar on smart buildings; it can serve as a replicable model for raising community awareness in localities around the country and the world.

—Christy Everett, CBF's Hampton Roads Director

Pennsylvania Legislature Shouldn't Gut Streamside Protections

The following first appeared in the Patriot News.

Stream with strong forested buffers. Photo by Bill Portlock/CBF Staff.

We all count on clean water . . . But, with roughly 19,000 miles of polluted streams and rivers in our Commonwealth, too many of our waters are considered polluted. We all pay the price—lost jobs, human health risks, taxes, and fees to purify drinking water. And right now the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Gov. Corbett have a choice about protecting Pennsylvania's rivers and streams.

One of the most cost-efficient and well-established practices to clean up waterways and to keep them clean is to plant trees along stream banks—what some call forested buffers.

These buffers soak up water, reducing runoff and keeping any pollutants it carries from draining into streams. Their roots hold onto soil, keeping it from washing into and clouding the water. Their canopies lower water temperatures, improving wildlife habitat for fish like the brook trout, which is crucial in many local economies. And their green leaves convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, improving air quality and lowering our health risks from, for example, asthma. Trees are one of nature's best methods to stop pollution and maintain clean rivers and streams.

Pennsylvania has a Blueprint for clean water and as part of that Blueprint set a goal of planting 74,000 acres of forested buffers by 2013. Recently, our state reported that we have achieved only 17 percent of that goal. That leaves us a very long way to go before we realize the benefits of forested stream banks to our rivers and streams.

Why, then, would our elected officials even consider approving a bill that allows land developers to cut down existing streamside buffers along our last remaining pristine streams? It makes no sense at all and should not be done.

This week, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation released a peer-reviewed report detailing the economic benefits of cleaning up local rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Public News Service featured that report: Putting a Price Tag on the Value of Clean Water to Pennsylvania (October 7, 2014). They said, "A new analysis of the potential financial benefits of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint finds a measurable return, with cleaner water adding about $6 billion a year in value to Pennsylvania's economy."

Pennsylvanian's own Thomas Hylton, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the book "Save Our Land, Save Our Towns," was quoted in that article saying, "How much is something costing you, and how much benefit are you getting back? [CBF's] analysis indicates it's way less expensive to pay attention to Mother Nature and protect the environment, economically, than it is to let it go."

We need to protect our clean streams, as well as restore our polluted ones. It makes sense environmentally as well as, economically. We call on the General Assembly and Gov. Corbett to prevent this bad bill for Pennsylvanians from becoming law. Our waters will be cleaner and our legacy brighter if they do.

—Harry Campbell, CBF's Pennsylvania Executive Director

Tell your PA senator to vote "NO" on the devastating House Bill 1565! It will gut clean water protections across our state! 

Photo of the Week: The Most Beautiful Sunrise I Had Ever Seen

Photo 1

These two photos (I couldn't decide which one!) were taken [on a late September] morning on the Wye River in Grasonville, Md. My family has a house there and we spend every weekend that we can waterskiing, wake boarding, sailing, swimming, fishing, and just relaxing outside.

On this particular morning, I found myself up at the crack of dawn and standing outside with my dad, mom, and boyfriend. It was honestly the most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen. The water was completely still, with no tidal movements nor a whisper of wind, and a fine mist was pouring off the land and onto the glassy, mirrored surface of the river. In an age of filtered and edited photos, I can absolutely say that this is au naturel. 

—Caitlin Cromer 

Ensure that Caitlin, her family, and future generations continue to enjoy extraordinary sights like these along the Chesapeake. 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!

Photo 2