Pennsylvania Discovery Trips: What's in Your Backyard?

Photo 5
Photo by Kim Patten/CBF Staff.

Pennsylvania has more miles of rivers and streams than almost any other state in the nation, and summer is a great time to get out and experience the tremendous beauty and unique habitats our waterways have to offer.

CBF invites you to join us on an upcoming "Discovery Trip" for members and friends.

On our June trip, participants enjoyed all the wonder of the Yellow Breeches. Fantastic weather set the stage for sightings of deer, wood ducks, egrets, kingfishers, and several wood turtles.

There are two more opportunities to get out on the water--join us if you can:

    1. Thursday, July 24 on the Swatara Creek in Dauphin County, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    2. Saturday, August 2 on the Susquehanna River near Port Treverton, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Participants paddle a three- to five-mile stretch of a local creek, stream, or Susquehanna River. Each trip is led by CBF's Susquehanna Watershed Education Program (SWEP) staff, who provide everything you'll need for a fun and safe adventure. This includes, but is not limited to, canoes, paddles, lifejackets, snacks, and an introductory paddling instruction. Any paddling skill level is welcome, no experience necessaryThese are family-fun events!

Click here to learn more and to register. We'll see you out on the water! 

—Kelly Donaldson and Kim Patten, CBF Staff


Photo of the Week: Bread and Cheese Creek Before and After

BeforeBefore the clean-up event. Photo by John Long.

"This photo was taken in late March of this year on the banks of the Historic Bread and Cheese Creek between Merritt Manor Shopping center and the AMF Bowling Center. This section is constantly [trashed] because the debris blows accross the parking lot and washes off the highway to be deposited on this section of the bank...

[The photo below] shows the results of the hard work of 115 volunteers in the Merritt Boulevard area of Bread and Cheese Creek between Merritt Boulevard and Willow Road [during a Clean Bread and Cheese Creek mid-April cleanup.]

Together we cut up and moved three fallen trees blocking the stream. We removed 30 yards of trash and debris, 20 yards of metal (including seven shopping carts, a lawn mower, an engine head, and the bumper from a 1972 Chevelle), seven tires, five cans of paint, two bicycles, a couch, a bowling ball, and an office chair. This has helped reveal the natural beauty of the historic Bread and Cheese Creek, and kept this trash from flowing into Back River, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean!...It is important for everyone to be able to enjoy the beauty of nature and understand it's importance."

—John Long

To view more images from the cleanup, click here.

AFTERAfter the cleanup. Photo by John Long. 

A Turning Point for Menhaden, Part Four

Video by Chris Moore/CBF Staff.

Just a few weeks ago, in an historic vote, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) decided it was time to set new standards for how it manages menhaden, an essential fish to the entire coastal ecosystem. But due to overfishing in 32 of the past 54 years, menhaden’s population had fallen to a mere 8 percent of what it once was–its lowest point on record!

After thousands of letters and e-mails (including 1,036 from CBF advocates) as well as comments at public ASMFC hearings, it became clear just how important this fish is not only to our waters, but to the human community it supports.

Bill Goldsborough, CBF’s Director of Fisheries, fought for years for the protection of this fish, which up until now had hardly been managed at all. His persistence was instrumental in bringing about this landmark decision to establish a healthy population of menhaden for all of us. Check out the video above for Goldsborough's reactions to the vote just moments after it happened.

—Emmy Nicklin

Read the full menhaden story. View parts One, Two, and Three of this menhaden blog series.   

Gearing Up for the Season's Best Beach Party

When's the last time you danced in the sand? Things here are really starting to gear up for next week's big fete! Our fourth annual "Bands in the Sand" beach party is next Saturday, June 13th.

Here at CBF we work hard -- but we sure know how to put on a party! BITS, as we call it in the office, is great beach party with excellent food, drinks, live music, and a live art auction. This year enjoy the wicked reggae of S.T.O.R.M. and dance to the rollin' rock of Misspent Youth. Misspent Youth's mix of classic and modern rock is more my style, but I checked out S.T.O.R.M.'s website and their video "Hola, Hola" hooked me, hooked me.

One of the (many) fun things about Bands in the Sand is you don't need to drive there. Have a boat? You can anchor off the beach and we'll ferry you in. 

Tickets are $100 each and proceeds support CBF's education, restoration, and advocacy programs.

No one wants sand in their shoes at a beach partyYou can check out pictures from last year's party on CBF's website. Then get some friends together, order your tickets, and prepare to leave your shoes at the dock and chill out on the beach! 

We hope you can join us!

Rally_image_272x171_4859 Yesterday, while state and federal officials met inside Union Station for their annual Executive Council of the Bay Program meeting, CBF led a rally and performance action to protest the government's slow progress on Bay restoration. Turnout was excellent -- thank you to our Bay supporters who came down to D.C. to participate!

In the park outside Union Station, 200 or so folks chanted "EPA: Don't Delay, Save the Bay." Ken Smith, president of the Virginia State Waterman's Association broke down while he spoke about the losses that the watermen are suffering.

Rally_image_190x150_4673 In the words of Emily from Oceana, "Ken Smith of the Virginia Waterman's Association had to pause and choke back tears as he told the crowd about his memories of the Bay. "Those days are gone, but I'm hoping it will happen again."

CBF Board chair Keith Campbell and Sue Brown of the National Wildlife Federation stirred the crowd, and former Maryland State Senator Bernie Fowler vowed we will not give up until he can see his feet through clear Bay waters.

As CBF President Will Baker described it in an e-mail to staff last night, "Then in an unprecedented action, long lines of our ralliers in black t-shirts walked slowly and solemnly, with cameras from the media rolling, across the main floor of Union Station where the meeting was taking place. Described by onlookers as "awesome" and "eerie," the action was a powerful statement of frustration with the slowness of progress."

There's a good video on WJZ-TV's website. Photos and more video will be online soon.

If you attended the rally or happened to be in Union Station at the time, share your thoughts with us.

Photos by Nikki Davis

Donor of Island Education Left a Legacy

89507 In December, CBF lost a friend, trustee, and one-of-a-kind donor. In 1988, G.R. “Randy” Klinefelter made an unusual gift to CBF: a 250-acre island. In doing so, he and his family established CBF’s largest residential education center, Port Isobel, and opened up a treasured and historic piece of the Chesapeake to thousands of students, teachers, and citizens.

Named after his wife, Isobel, the former family getaway is a stone’s throw away from its sister island Tangier, home to one of the Chesapeake’s last remaining watermen’s communities. Over the past 20 years, students, teachers, and decision makers have traveled by boat to Port Isobel to explore the island’s marshes, beach, and woodlands. Often, visiting Tangier to learn about the nearly lost way of life is part of the trip.

The Klinefelter family owned the property for 30 years before donating it to CBF, and during that time instituted soil conservation measures and other environmental improvements. Residents of Ephrata, PA, the Klinefelters recognized the connection between their home state in the northern watershed and the downstream Chesapeake Bay.

Mr. Klinefelter served on the CBF Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1999.

Memorial gifts in his honor will be accepted at:

Randy Klinefelter Memorials
6 Herndon Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21403

I visited Port Isobel for the first time last fall. It's a beautiful place and a wonderful place to learn about our Bay. To see photos, visit our Flickr page. To share your own Flickr photos, tag them "CBF Port Isobel."

We'd love to hear your stories about Randy Klinefelter and your experiences at Port Isobel. Feel free to post your own comments below.

Grasses for the Masses Starts Up in Virginia

This post is old! Get our most current Grasses for the Masses news.

197994It's that time of year again! CBF volunteers can help restore the health of Virginia's rivers and the Chesapeake Bay by participating in our Grasses for the Masses program.

2008 workshops start February 13th.

Get details and sign up here.

BayFest Thanks Members & Volunteers

BayfestOn Saturday, September 15, more than 300 Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) members gathered together for food, fun, and fabulous tunes on the beach at CBF’s headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland. The annual BayFest event was organized to thank CBF financial contributors and volunteers for furthering CBF’s mission to save the Bay.

The following individuals were then recognized for their tireless service and commitment to saving the Bay: