Eastern Shore, Maryland

An egret on the verge of taking flight in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Photo by Kevin Moore. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Kevin Moore.

About CBF's Maryland Eastern Shore Office

Since 1990, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has been committed to protecting and restoring the remarkable Eastern Shore waterways for us and future generations. Yet unhealthy development patterns and too much pollution from farms, stormwater, and sewage continue to threaten this special place. Right now is the most important moment in the history of CBF's Save the Bay™ effort, and the Eastern Shore is a critical place where these efforts to restore the health of our waterways must succeed.

The communities on the Shore can be models of environmental stewardship for the rest of the Bay region, and we can leave our children and grandchildren cleaner water, make our Bay and rivers once again teem with grasses, crabs, and oysters, and create jobs all at the same time. Our primary focus is to strengthen the work of Eastern Shore communities to implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and to defend the Blueprint against attacks from those who want to see it fail.

Inside a poultry farm.    Photo by Adobe StockMaryland produces enough poultry litter to fill M&T Bank stadium twice, and that amount will continue to grow, with at least 200 new poultry farms recently permitted. (Adobe Stock)

It's Time to Hold Big Chicken Companies Responsible for Their Own Waste

A broad coalition of environmental groups banded together during the 2016 Maryland General Assembly to support legislation requiring poultry companies to take responsibility for the manure their chickens produce. The legislation would have protected Maryland farmers and taxpayers from costs that should be borne by the large poultry companies.

A New Day, A New Way for Oyster Restoration

A new strategy for growing oysters began in 2013 in Harris Creek. Today, the creek is host to one of the largest oyster restoration projects ever undertaken in the Chesapeake Bay.

Read More

Example of a large chicken facility in Maryland.(Google Earth) Inset - example of pens commonly used in chicken facilities. (iStock) (Left) One of several large chicken operations on Maryland's Eastern Shore. (Google Earth)   (Right)  An example of a common industrial chicken operation. (iStock)

Reducing Phosphorus Pollution in Maryland

Phosphorus is one of the three major pollutants affecting the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Excess phosphorus contributes to dead zones—areas with low levels of oxygen where marine life cannot live—in creeks, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay.

One of the largest sources of phosphorus is manure. In fact, farm land where manure is applied as fertilizer has, on average, three times more phosphorus runoff than land not receiving manure.

phosphorus pollution by source

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The latest University of Maryland estimates show that nearly half of Maryland farm fields are polluting rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay due to excessive levels of phosphorus from manure. This problem is especially troubling on the Eastern Shore, where the Maryland Department of the Environment estimates that farmers apply 228,000 tons of excess poultry manure a year on Eastern Shore farm fields. The Eastern Shore's Choptank River is the only major river in Maryland where phosphorus pollution is on the rise.

As part of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, Maryland is required to reduce phosphorus pollution 48 percent by 2025. The state's Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) includes methods for achieving that goal. One of the most important methods is reducing the amount of phosphorous applied to fields that have the highest risk of phosphorus runoff, which pollutes local waters, especially on the Eastern Shore. Enter the Phosphorus Management Tool, a science-based method of identifying the fields that contain the most phosphorous and have the highest risk of phosphorus runoff.

How the Phosphorus Management Tool Works

Phosphorus, like nitrogen and other nutrients, is vital to crops. However, like nitrogen, when there is more phosphorus in the soil than the crops can take up, the excess runs off the field and into nearby streams. Soil can be tested to determine how much phosphorus it contains, and is then classified as having "low," "medium," "optimum," or "excessive" amounts. In addition to how much excess phosphorus is in the soil, the Phosphorus Management Tool takes into consideration the slope of the land, type of soil, and proximity of waters—all factors that affect the likelihood that excess phosphorus will find its way into local waterways.

New Maryland state regulations use the Phosphorus Management Tool to identify hot spots where the soil is saturated with phosphorus and where other factors signify a high risk of runoff. Future applications of manure would be limited in such areas and farmers directed to implement techniques to remove some of the excess.

The Phosphorus Management Tool reflects more than 10 years of research conducted by University of Maryland scientists in collaboration with regional and national experts. Revising and updating the tool is an element of Maryland's Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP), the federally mandated document created by the state to outline specific steps it will take to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.

Implementation is Long Overdue

These regulations have been in the works for years, and the Maryland Department of Agriculture already delayed implementation twice in response to concerns by some farmers who may be affected. The most recent version of the draft regulations were issued in the Maryland Register on December 1, 2014. This version reflects a number of changes requested by farmers, including a six-year, extended phase-in period to allow farmers more time to transition to practices that reduce pollution.

Still, the Farm Bureau, Perdue and other chicken growers, and some farmers are continuing to fight implementation of these important regulations addressing a major source of phosphorus pollution.

Through our long years of cooperative problem solving with farmers, our devotion to supporting scientifically sound policy changes, and our own experience running Clagett Farm, CBF understands the trepidation some farmers feel toward the new regulations.

Some individual farmers may shoulder an additional financial burden under the PMT, which is why we have supported cost share programs to mitigate the potential of increasing costs to affected farmers. We continue to support these programs, and believe that, in addition, big agricultural corporations should help pay for the cost of cleaning up the manure their chickens produce.

At the same time, not all agricultural producers will be negatively impacted by the new PMT regulations, and in fact, some will benefit from greater availability of manure fertilizer that they can readily use on fields that need additional phosphorus. Costs and benefits will shift geographically based on the location of fields that can use additional phosphorus. A recent economic analysis on the regulations affirms that the PMT will not economically ruin the agricultural industry on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

The Economics of the PMT

Reducing pollution from agriculture is one of the most cost-effective ways—acre for acre, and pound for pound—to restore local water quality and the Bay. It's a much better "bang for the buck" than other, more costly solutions like wastewater treatment plant upgrades, which have already been done, supported by tax dollars.

Practices like the PMT that reduce pollution are also estimated to provide additional economic benefits in Maryland of $4.6 billion per year if the Clean Water Blueprint is fully implemented. Thanks to improvements in soil health and productivity, benefits from Maryland's agricultural lands will increase by more than $73 million per year.

Additionally, the PMT presents an opportunity for economic growth and innovation through the potential for new technologies to process, transport, and export excess phosphorus once the new regulation is implemented. While restoring water quality, these new regulations also provide a reliable supply of phosphorus for new companies seeking to develop methods to make phosphorus more readily available and transportable to American and international markets where phosphorus is a limited commodity.

Likewise, companies have already successfully tested new technologies to convert manure into energy, and simply lack the positive economic pressure the PMT regulation would provide to invest in scaling up pilot projects to commercial scale—thus making these technologies into a cost-effective solution for our current manure crisis.

We all need to do our part to restore clean water across Maryland and on the Eastern Shore. If we don't begin to put these changes to agricultural practices into action—practices that we know cause a significant amount of pollution to local streams, groundwater, and the Bay—we will fail to meet the goals of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.

Without implementation of the PMT, Eastern Shore creeks and rivers will remain polluted, unsafe for swimming and fishing. Crabs, oysters and other marine life will continue to suffer from the pollution.

The capitol dome in Annapolis viewed from Chesapeake Bay. Photo by Donna Rice.The capitol dome in Annapolis viewed from Chesapeake Bay. Photo by Donna Rice.

Eleventh Hour Passage of Stormwater Bill Caps Remarkable Session for Bay

The eleventh hour passage of a bill that helps reduce polluted runoff from cities and suburbs in Maryland capped a surprisingly successful session for the Chesapeake Bay in the Maryland General Assembly.

The House and Senate gave final approval to SB 863, which lets Baltimore City and the state's nine most populated counties decide how they want to pay for programs to reduce polluted runoff, but holds them more accountable for doing the job. That is a major victory for the Chesapeake Bay. Polluted runoff is the main source of contamination for many urban and suburban creeks and rivers. Yet for years local governments have neglected upkeep to their stormwater systems, and failed to meet clean-up goals set by state and federal law.

"We were holding our breath for the past few days and hours. The stormwater bill is a remarkable victory. What a turnaround for Bay issues this session," said Alison Prost, Maryland Executive Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF).

"We are grateful to Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch for their leadership on this bill. We also appreciate the help of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs and House Environment and Transportation committees," Prost said.

The session also was notable for work to reduce pollution from manure used on farm fields. Senator Pinsky and Delegate Lafferty were the chief sponsors of legislation to require farmers to apply only the amount of manure on their fields which crops can use. The bill was amended by the Senate environmental committee. That process helped bring farmers and environmentalists to the table. It also helped improve draft regulations Governor Hogan had announced. The Maryland Department of Agriculture published these improved regulations as draft on April 3rd. That initiative is expected to yield major improvements long-term in water quality in creeks and rivers on the Eastern Shore, and ultimately in the Bay.

Poultry manure contains high levels of phosphorus. Many fields of the Eastern Shore are saturated with phosphorus from years of over-application. Crops can't utilize the additional phosphorus. The excess phosphorus washes off into nearby creeks and rivers, and sparks dead zones of low oxygen. The Maryland Department of Agriculture estimated 228,000 tons of excess manure are applied to fields each year on the Shore.

Together, the efforts undertaken by the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Hogan address two of the biggest sources of pollution entering the Chesapeake–farms and urban areas.

But at the beginning of the session prospects were far from rosy. Hogan had vowed to repeal landmark legislation approved in 2012 to deal with polluted runoff. That legislation had been attacked unfairly and inaccurately for more than a year as a tax on rain. Some legislators sympathized with that attack. The governor also had rejected an earlier version of manure regulations.

"Legislative leaders heard our concerns on the stormwater issue. The original bill could have been a big setback for cleaning up waters in populated areas. They made substantial improvements in the bill," Prost said. "And Governor Hogan and lawmakers also listened to us on the manure issue. We started this session in rough waters and thankfully for the environment cooler heads and calmer winds prevailed."

Other environmental successes this session include the passage of:

Budget—Governor's Hogan's budget as introduced reflected the state's commitment to cleaning up the Bay and our local rivers and streams.  That funding has been largely left intact.  Under the leadership of Chairwoman McIntosh and the House Appropriations Committee, the budget as passed also partially restored funding for our critical land preservation funding.

SB200—This bill prohibits the manufacture and sale of personal care products that contain nonbiodegradable synthetic plastic "microbeads." These tiny objects pass through wastewater treatments plants and end up in local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. Once in the water these beads chemically attract additional pollutants and enter the food chain when they are consumed by marine life.

HB449—This bill prohibits the state of Maryland from issuing permits for the unconventional hydraulic fracturing exploration and production of natural gas until October 2017. During that time the state must explore and develop protective regulations.

HB287—This bill benefits the growing oyster aquaculture industry by expanding penalties for poaching. Aquaculture is beneficial to the Bay's health by increasing the natural oyster filtration function while decreasing harvest pressure on the natural oyster population.

CBF also helped defeat several bad bills that would opened up oyster sanctuaries to harvest and would have undone the state's highly successful oyster restoration programs.

More information on the final status of significant bills and legislation


A Saved Bay = A Better Economy for Maryland worth $4.5 Billion per year

Report Identifies Natural Benefits of Restored Bay

A first-ever peer-reviewed analysis released by CBF finds that the economic benefits provided by nature in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will total $130 billion annually when the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the regional plan to restore the Bay, is fully implemented.

Image of blue crabs and June 2014 milestone reports. Blue crab photo by Kristi Carroll/CBF StaffBlue crabs photo by Kristi Carroll/CBF Staff

Milestone Analysis: Pollution Reduced, Agriculture and Urban Runoff Reductions Falling Short

Many Eastern Shore counties report little effort to clean local creeks

Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) Milestones, two-year commitments made by the Bay states and District of Columbia to reduce pollution, are a key part of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. An analysis of the 2012-2013 Milestones showed Maryland met its pollution-reduction goals for 2013. However, a closer look at the data reveals the state has a long way to go to meet the 2017 and 2025 goals. Maryland Assessment    Read the press release

On an even more local level, CBF's Eastern Shore Office and the Choose Clean Water Coalition (CCWC) released a two-page report that summarizes progress of counties on the Eastern Shore in cleaning the water in their local creeks and rivers over the past two years. The findings were not encouraging. Eastern Shore Assesment    Read the press release

Morley's Wharf on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Photo by Dianne AppelPhoto by Dianne Appel

Candidate Education on the Eastern Shore

The next four years will be pivotal in cleaning up local rivers, creeks and the Bay. How can Eastern Shore counties do their part? CBF is pleased to co-sponsor a new publication called 5 Actions Your Next Local Elected Officials Should take for Clean Water. It's a short, easy-to-read summary of proven, cost-effective measures that candidates for local office should be aware of this election year.

5 ThingsChallenges like polluted runoff, excess fertilizer, and growth management create local problems that need local solutions. Meanwhile on Maryland's Eastern Shore, nearly every seat on county councils and commissions is up for grabs in the general election. Where do candidates who might be our next decision makers stand on the issues that matter most to you? This pocket-sized checklist can help focus conversation around meaningful ways to make our local waterways and the Bay clean and healthy.

Download your copy, and share with your friends, family, and co-workers. Now more than ever, local leaders need to be prepared to deliver clean water solutions. As the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint continues to guide progress, our communities and those elected to represent us must be familiar with strategies that work to finish the job of restoring the Bay. Our children and grandchildren will benefit from good decisions made by county and municipal officials. 

5 Actions Your Next Local Elected Officials Should take for Clean Water is co-sponsored by local and regional conservation groups active on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Join us in working together to educate elected community leaders about things that can be done for clean water when they are in office. 

Residential stormwater runoff. Photo © 2010 Krista Schlyer/iLCPA brown river of sediment flows into a storm drain, taking chemicals, oil, and other pollutants from streets and yards with it. Photo © 2010 Krista Schlyer/iLCP 

The Facts About Polluted Runoff and Maryland's Stormwater Utility Fees

Did you know that the only source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that is still increasing is polluted runoff?

Q: What is stormwater/polluted runoff?
Q: Why has urban and suburban polluted runoff emerged as a national issue?
Q: Why has polluted runoff become a big issue in Maryland specifically?
Q: My jurisdiction has a stormwater utility fee. What is that?
Q: Are stormwater fees required by the state?
Q: Why does the Watershed Protection and Restoration Program only apply to some places in Maryland?
Q: If we already pay taxes, why does my local government need to charge additional fees to restore the Bay?
Q: We already pay the Bay Restoration Fee ("flush tax"). Why do I have to pay a stormwater fee, too?
Q: Am I being charged the same amount as other property owners with more pavement or hard surfaces?
Q: What about the assertion that stormwater fees are a tax on rain (or a "rain tax")?
Q: Are the fees used locally?
Q: For places that have fees, why do they differ?
Q: Does the Chesapeake Bay Foundation receive funding from the "rain tax?"
Q: Can I have my fee reduced? I've heard some jurisdictions are offering discounts.
Q: Don't we have bigger pollution problems to worry about? Isn't the water pollution that causes closed beaches and unsafe swim areas caused mostly by sewage spills, not polluted runoff?
Q: Do stormwater utility fees or the cost of cleaning up polluted runoff hurt Maryland's business competitiveness?

Q: What is stormwater/polluted runoff?

A: As water flows off of our streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, it picks up fertilizers, pesticides, oil, and automotive fluids, pet waste, sediment, and other pollutants. This simple process—untreated stormwater flowing through gutters and storm drains—pollutes our rivers and streams and threatens our drinking water. It also causes problems like local flooding of streets and homes, beach closures, fish advisories, and sewage system overflows.

Q: Why has urban and suburban polluted runoff emerged as a national issue?

A: Up until about the 1980s, builders didn’t know much about the problems associated with polluted runoff. They just designed developments to flush the water off the property quickly. Now we realize runoff should be slowed down and soaked up to prevent pollution from running off developed areas and into our local rivers and streams.

In fact, in the Chesapeake Bay region, this sort of pollution is the only major pollution sector still on the rise. Air pollution is down, as is pollution from wastewater treatment plants and agriculture. Tackling urban and suburban runoff remains a big challenge as our state continues to grow.

Q: Why has polluted runoff become a big issue in Maryland specifically?

A: Maryland's cities and suburban areas contain some of the highest concentrations of impervious surfaces—hard surfaces where water can't be absorbed by and filtered through the ground—in the whole Chesapeake Bay watershed. And, not surprisingly, the state also has a huge list of waterways that are officially considered polluted. In fact, the "impaired waters" list includes waterways in every county in the state. Damage from this pollution to the Chesapeake Bay is also dramatic, because Maryland's concentrated areas of urban and suburban development are close in proximity to the Bay compared to urbanized areas in most of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint requires each of the Bay states to reduce pollution or be subject to consequences for failure. But polluted runoff has ramifications far beyond the health of the Bay. This pollution damages local rivers and streams, is often responsible for expensive flooding, and, especially after a significant rainfall, can put human health at risk.

Q: My jurisdiction has a stormwater utility fee. What is that?

A: Just like other services, such as water and sewer or gas and electric, stormwater can be managed as a utility that is supported by a billed fee. A stormwater utility fee is based on the idea that all developed properties contribute to polluted runoff in their watershed and should help support efforts to reduce this runoff and the pollution that it carries.

Q: Are stormwater fees required by the state?

A: In 2012, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Watershed Protection and Restoration Program. While this legislation originally required the 10 largest and most urban jurisdictions in the state to set fees to address their polluted runoff problems, revisions to the law in 2015 removed that fee requirement. It did not remove the requirement that these jurisdictions clean up stormwater pollution. In fact, it increased accountability for doing so by requiring that jurisdictions demonstrate they have adequate funding and plans in place to reduce their polluted runoff.

Q: Why does the Watershed Protection and Restoration Program only apply to some places in Maryland?

A: These 10 urban areas have the most land that doesn't allow water to filter slowly into the ground (impervious area). They are also the only jurisdictions in Maryland charged with meeting very strict federal Clean Water Act permits. Under the revised 2015 state law, these counties are required to have plans in place that demonstrate what activities they will undertake to clean up polluted runoff and how they will pay for it. Counties are required to have adequate funding set aside in a dedicated fund to be used only to clean up polluted runoff. How they come up with this funding is up to them. Some counties will allocate it from their general funds while others will keep their stormwater utility fees in place to ensure they have the funding needed.

Recognizing the water quality threat posed by polluted runoff, some counties and municipalities have taken a lead in addressing the problem without requirements from state law or Clean Water Act permits. Some have had similar fees and programs in place for decades. For example, Prince George's County has assessed a tax for polluted runoff since 1986. Bowie has charged commercial properties a fee to address polluted runoff since 1988. Salisbury created a volunteary stormwater utility fee in 2014-15 to address poor local water quality caused by polluted runoff and aging storm drain infrastructure. A number of other areas implemented similar fees in the 1990s and 2000s.

Q: If we already pay taxes, why does my local government need to charge additional fees to restore the Bay?

A: With all the challenges they face, state and local governments have often chosen to do the minimum required to reduce polluted runoff. With adequate dedicated funding, local governments can implement practical, proven solutions that were previously too expensive, or that could have only been done if money was taken from other important social services. The fee also provides important leverage for financing projects with bonds or state revolving loans. Regardless of financing option, local creeks and rivers will get cleaner only to the degree local officials fund needed work. Little or no new funding will continue to mean dirty, unhealthy local waters.

Q: We already pay the Bay Restoration Fee ("flush tax"). Why do I have to pay a stormwater fee, too?

A: The Bay Restoration Fund or "flush tax" money goes to upgrading sewage plants. The money is being well spent. Most major plants in the state have been upgraded or are being upgraded, reducing nitrogen pollution into local waters by more than six million pounds a year. The flush tax was doubled in 2012 to finish the job of upgrading sewage plants. Your stormwater fees go to upgrade the stormwater system—the ponds, pipes, gutters, and other structures that channel and treat polluted runoff before it reaches creeks, also reducing flooding. That spending will provide substantial, additional pollution reductions in each community.

Q: Am I being charged the same amount as other property owners with more pavement or hard surfaces?

A: Local governments are given complete freedom to decide not only the size of their fee, but how it is collected. Some opt to charge property owners with more "impervious surfaces" higher fees. Other jurisdictions use a "flat fee." Jurisdictions take different approaches to funding their polluted runoff cleanup.  Contact your local government for more detailed information.

Q: What about the assertion that these stormwater fees are a tax on rain (or a "rain tax")?

A: That moniker is catchy but blatantly false. It is designed to mislead and confuse. The truth is that we are talking about a fee to reduce pollution from water that washes off hard surfaces and empties into local waterways. Runoff pollution is real—it is responsible for no-swimming advisories and beach closures in local waters, fish consumption advisories, and dead zones in the Bay that can't support aquatic life. It also causes localized flooding and property damage. And in many areas, it is the largest source of pollution. If we delay this important work, in the end it will cost more to clean up polluted runoff and reverse its negative impacts to water quality and the Bay's economy.

The bottom line is that this work must be done. There are federal and state requirements to reduce runoff pollution from urban and suburban areas. A fee on impervious surface is often the best model to do this because the fee is connected to the cause of the pollution. Counties that don't have stormwater fees must raise the revenue by other means, such as property taxes or income taxes.

Q: Are stormwater fees used locally?

A: Yes! If your jurisdiction has a fee, it is collected by the county or city and used only in that county or city to fix polluted runoff problems. The money will never go into a state fund, and there is accountability and transparency.

The fee are used for simple, proven solutions that work by slowing down and absorbing much of the polluted runoff. These solutions include planting trees, planting vegetation around streams, restoring stream beds, and using rain barrels and rain gardens. These local projects not only reduce pollution and improve water quality, but also make our communities more beautiful, reduce flooding, and create jobs. Scientific monitoring will verify that the projects are effective and efficient.

Q: For places that have fees, why do they differ?

A: Each county and city is unique, and so are their water quality problems. Counties and cities also have very different fiscal circumstances, which influence how they can pay for polluted runoff cleanup. Despite the amount of work needed to restore Maryland's rivers and streams, Maryland's polluted runoff fees are lower than those in quite a few other states.

Q: Does the Chesapeake Bay Foundation receive funding from any of the fees?

A: Absolutely not. Neither do we receive a penny of funding from the Bay Restoration Fund, or "flush fee." These are government initiatives. We are a non-profit, private agency.

Q: Can I have my fee reduced? I've heard some jurisdictions are offering discounts.

A: Many local governments offer some type of credits or discounts if a property owner takes steps to reduce polluted runoff from his land, and some of those credit or discount programs are required by the 2015 legislation to ensure that fees don't pose an undue hardship on property owners. Contact your local government to learn more about credits or discounts that may be available where you live.

Q: Don't we have bigger pollution problems to worry about? Isn't the water pollution that causes closed beaches and unsafe swim areas caused mostly by sewage spills, not polluted runoff?

A: Polluted runoff from city and suburban landscapes is the only major type of water pollution that is increasing in the region. Pollution from farms, sewage plants, and other sources is decreasing. Thanks to the "flush fee," for example, we've dramatically reduced nitrogen pollution from sewage plants. A handful of sewer systems in the state are so old it will take many years more to stop recurring spills and overflows. Spills from those systems can play a major role in beach closings. But Sally Hornor, a microbiologist with Anne Arundel Community College who has tested county water for years, says bacteria from polluted runoff is the culprit in unsafe swim areas far more often. Sewage spills are occasional. Polluted runoff occurs after every storm generating about one-half inch of rain or more.

Q: Do stormwater utility fees or the cost of polluted runoff clean-up hurt Maryland's business competitiveness?

A: Forward-thinking community leaders believe the benefits to communities from addressing polluted runoff far outweigh the speculative concern that businesses will relocate. These benefits include safe, swimmable, fishable water, as well as the economic benefits that come from having a clean and healthy environment. And if businesses consider relocating to Delaware, Pennsylvania, or Virginia instead of Maryland, they might be surprised to learn that 18 local jurisdictions in Virginia, eight local governments in West Virginia, at least two municipalities in Delaware (including the largest, Wilmington), and several in Pennsylvania already have stormwater fee systems in place—and these numbers are growing. Nationwide, nearly 1,500 jurisdictions—including large cities like Houston and Tampa—have similar policies in place—and they are working.

Low tide off Kent Island. Photo by Michael Rhian DriscollTide pools cover the sand at low tide on Kent Island. Photo by Michael Rhian Driscoll

A Case Study in Where and How Not to Grow:
Four Seasons, Kent Island, Queen Anne's County, MD

Maryland has made progress managing development in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Unfortunately, the proposed Four Seasons project in Queen Anne's County, which illustrates what we shouldn't be doing, is a striking reminder that we still have a way to go.

If constructed, Four Seasons at Kent Island would be one of the largest major subdivisions in Maryland's Critical Area history.

First proposed by a New Jersey developer in the 1990's and approved more than 10 years ago, this subdivision—on 425 acres of farmland between the banks of the Chester River and Cox Creek—is the wrong project in the wrong place. It was ill-conceived then and it remains ill-conceived.  More than 1,000 units of housing are proposed within Maryland's Critical Area, on mostly flat land that is significantly vulnerable to current flooding during heavy rains and the certainty of more and more storm surges as sea level rises.

The problems here are scale (way too big), design (1980's sprawl instead of clustered and compact, with small-scale, green runoff practices), and location (where flooding is commonplace and will become more so, on the banks of two bodies of water). The other problem—a big one—is that development would occur in the face of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, which requires a reduction in polluted runoff, but which wasn't in effect when the project was approved. 

Developers and those in the county who support this project argue:

  • it complies with the Comprehensive Plan and zoning and has all local approvals necessary for the first phase;
  • it obtained a "growth allocation," permission from the Critical Area Commission to develop land which ordinarily is protected by law;
  • it has sewer and water;
  • and there is other development nearby. 

The developer has also agreed to "voluntarily" give up 131-acres across the creek, move polluted runoff outfalls out of tidal wetlands, and raise first floors a couple of feet.

But none of these statements means the project is a good one, nor in the right place.

The facts are:

  • while the project's development site is recognized in county planning documents, the Stevensville/Chester Community Plan language is actually critical of projects this massive;
  • growth allocation was granted 13 years ago, before the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and the latest science on sea level rise;
  • there is development nearby, but the land targeted for Four Seasons is situated in a uniquely sensitive area between the Chester River and Cox Creek;
  • the state's Wetlands Administrator and Secretary of the Environment have both concluded that polluted runoff from the project would impact the fragile tidal wetlands adjacent to the site;
  • access to the 131 acres across the creek was problematic for the developer given that permission was denied for a crossing at the creek; 
  • it makes no sense to build stormwater outfalls where they could be overwhelmed and undermined by tides, but there will still be increased levels of polluted runoff to the Bay;
  • and, unless the buildings were raised, storm surge flooding would have become an even more destructive.

A final consideration is the developer's environmental record. Not too long ago it paid huge fines to the federal government for failure to manage polluted runoff requirements from its construction operations.

The bottom line is, does putting a project of this magnitude make sense for Kent Island,

  • where traffic is already a problem, with limited ingress and egress;
  • where flooding regularly occurs and more serious, climate-related flooding is a near-certainty;
  • and where the massive subdivision would drain into a river and a creek that are important tributaries of a Bay struggling—and under federal mandate—to recover? 

In other words, does this project make sense?

The straightforward answer is no.

What About the Next Development Proposal?

There are many steps citizens and state and local leaders can take to make situations like this less likely to occur.

  • Maryland's Board of Public Works, which must grant a license to projects disturbing any tidal wetlands, can be given the authority to look more comprehensively at a project of this size and location.
  • The Critical Area Commission could be given more authority to review, shape or reject applications for growth in sensitive areas.
  • There could be a more comprehensive review process for developments like this, which have potentially substantial public health and safety, and environmental implications.
  • A process could be developed to address grandfathered projects or those with old "development rights agreements" where circumstances have obviously changed.    

A living shoreline project in Salisbury, Maryland. Photo by CBF Staff.CBF has been supporting restoration efforts on the Eastern Shore for years. Above, volunteers plant trees as part of a farm conservation program at Harleigh Farm. Photo by Margaret Enloe/CBF Staff.

Engaging Eastern Shore Communities to Save the Bay

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) educates and motivates Eastern Shore residents to support clean water efforts through a range of community events. From ice cream socials to public forums to planting trees in downtown Cambridge, CBF recognizes that in order to be successful, Bay restoration must start at the community level.

Last November, CBF and partner organizations initiated “Clean Water Week”—a week-long celebration of bringing back the health of local rivers and streams complete with music, film, art, and educational talks and clean water tips. The event drew and inspired hundreds of engaged citizens concerned about the health of our waters.

A few weeks prior, CBF participated in Fresh Coat Pine Street, a community building event intended to cultivate citizen interest and participation in stewardship by organizing volunteers to provide maintenance and repairs at downtown residence and business locations throughout Cambridge, Maryland.

Just recently, CBF participated in Plein Air-Easton! Competition and Arts Festival to reconnect with individuals about the importance of clean water, what we’re doing to restore the Bay and its rivers and streams, and how others can help.

Further, CBF continues to cultivate a strong group of clean water advocates to stand up for the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. Earlier this year, we convened 13 conservation partners to initiate a citizen activist training called Clear Voices—Clean Water Call to Action, which offered an overview of why now is the moment in time for Bay restoration. More than 60 citizens participated from across the Eastern Shore.

CBF continues to organize citizens to communicate clean water messages to Congressman Andrew Harris. Harris has suggested that federal action to implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is an impediment to local efforts by communities, counties and states to restore clean water for our children, families, and the next generation. However, many scientists agree that the Blueprint is the Bay's best hope for recovery after decades of failure and inaction. Residents of the area—where the Bay is so close to the places people live, work, and play—routinely tell us how important clean water is to their livelihoods.  CBF's efforts to highlight how out-of-synch Harri' views are with those of the many who live and work on the Shore in his district is a main focus of CBF's growing presence.

CBF's Eastern Shore Office

Eastern Shore Conservation Center
114 S. Washington Street
Suite 103
Easton, MD  21601

Eastern Shore Director Alan Girard. Photo by Margaret Vivian.
Alan Girard
Eastern Shore Director

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Reef Ball Building (MD)
Sun, 30 Apr 2017
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Canoe Trip (ES MD)
Sat, 06 May 2017
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

More Events

In the News

04.28.17 - Talbot County wins environmental award

04.25.17 - Video Seeding project near Key Bridge looks to give oysters 'a second chance' in the Patapsco

04.21.17 - Large group of dolphins spotted in Chesapeake Bay

04.20.17 - Baltimore area ozone up, but officials see overall air quality progress

04.20.17 - Video DNR: Survey shows highest number of female spawning-age crabs in reported history

04.20.17 - Video Survey finds increase in adult female blue crabs in Chesapeake Bay

04.20.17 - Females up, males down in blue crab dredge survey

04.19.17 - Survey: Chesapeake Bay blue crab numbers down

04.19.17 - The Bay has a lot more female blue crabs this year, and they're ready to spawn

04.19.17 - DNR survey shows dip in blue crab population

04.19.17 - Chesapeake Bay blue crab population remains 'steady,' spawning-age female numbers surge 

04.19.17 - Chesapeake Bay female crabs at their most plentiful since at least 1990

04.18.17 - Lawmakers bemoan proposed decrease in Bay funding

04.17.17 - As President Trump proposes $0 for Bay cleanup, Dems and advocates want $100M

04.17.17 - Cardin pledges to fight for Chesapeake Bay funding

04.17.17 - U.S. Senators Carper and Cardin highlight effects of budget cuts to Chesapeake Bay

04.17.17 - Senators highlight effects of budget cuts to Chesapeake Bay watershed

04.17.17 - Video Local politicians stress importance of Chesapeake Bay funding

04.17.17 - Video Resistance forming over Trump EPA cuts that would cut Chesapeake Bay funding

04.13.17 - Video Results of oyster restoration efforts in Chesapeake tributaries seem promising

04.12.17 - Maryland Assembly session gives environmentalists 'reason to celebrate'

04.10.17 - Critical Area development appeal has yet to hear merits

04.06.17 - Volunteers needed to help Chesapeake Bay Foundation protect stream, plant trees in Rohersville

04.06.17 - Oyster sanctuaries to be left alone for now under new Maryland law

04.06.17 - Ban on oyster sanctuary harvests becomes law without Hogan's signature

04.06.17 - Legislation passes to prevent harvesting on oyster sanctuaries until science complete

04.06.17 - CBF Press Statement Precaution Prevails; Oysters Won't Be Harvested from Sanctuary Reefs without Complete Science

04.05.17 - Video As Hogan signs fracking ban, environmentalists question his record

04.04.17 - June 'Floatilla" expanded to include rally to support the Chesapeake Bay Program

04.01.17 - Tallying Hogan's $3 billion investment in the Chesapeake Bay

03.29.17 - Video Trump's reversal of clean energy rules could hurt the Chesapeake Bay

03.29.17 - Big turnout at Cambridge workshop dealing with water issues

03.28.17 - MD Assembly votes to block opening oyster sanctuaries to harvest

03.25.17 - Maryland corn growers honored for Chesapeake Bay stewardship

03.25.17 - As crab season beckons, some watermen hope for new rules to bolster their harvest

03.23.17 - Dems blast Hogan's silence on Bay cleanup cuts; administration fires back

03.21.17 - Maryland should put actual conservation back in the Forest Conservation Act

03.17.17 - MD House votes to keep current oyster sanctuaries

03.16.17 - Video Chesapeake Bay Foundation shocked at elimination of funding

03.16.17 - Trump's proposed budget could critically undermine efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay

03.16.17 - Trump's budget suggests major changes in MD

03.16.17 - Trump budget plan draws some criticism from MD lawmakers

03.16.17 - Video President's budget poses concerns about future of Chesapeake Bay

03.16.17 - Trump slashes federal Bay funding in proposed budget

03.16.17 - Trump budget kills Chesapeake funds; 'disbelief' follows

03.16.17 - Trump budget plan draws mostly negative reviews among Maryland lawmakers

03.16.17 - President Trump proposes complete defunding of Chesapeake Bay Program

03.16.17 - Trump's proposed budget could critically undermine efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay

03.15.17 - Audio available How Donald Trump could slow down Chesapeake Bay cleanup

03.15.17 - Leave Chesapeake Bay oyster sanctuaries alone

03.10.17 - Concerns arise from proposed federal Bay program cuts

03.10.17 - Oyster sanctuaries

03.09.17 - Yard make-over at no cost

03.04.17 - Anne Arundel releases new reforestation data

03.04.17 - Fired crab manager was not at war with watermen

03.03.17 - Poultry house pollution focus of MD Senate bill

03.03.17 - St. Mary's lost 1,500 acres of forest in eight years, report shows

03.02.17 - 'Extreme' proposal to gut Chesapeake Bay cleanup program raises alarm as Trump administration crafts budget

03.02.17 - Maryland Senate passes Hogan's scaled-back water pollution bill

02.24.17 - CBF Press Release Poll: MD Voters Overwhelmingly Support Oyster Sanctuaries

02.22.17 - Deforestation, fracking bills spark rallies before hearing

02.22.17 - Video Maryland may shrink oyster sanctuaries

02.22.17 - Commission proposes rotational oyster harvesting, expanded sanctuaries

02.21.17 - Talbot, QA meetings set to discuss state's oyster management proposal

02.21.17 - Our say: Forest Conservation Act update needed

02.21.17 - Chesapeake oyster proposal alarms environmentalists

02.20.17 - The View of an Oyster Sanctuary

02.18.17 - Report: Anne Arundel reforestation data sparse

02.17.17 - Chesapeake Bay advocates alarmed by plan that could open oyster sanctuaries to watermen

02.17.17 - Forest conservation law needs bolstering

02.16.17 - Video Sanctuaries on the half-shell

02.15.17 - Hogan scales back Maryland water pollution trading proposal

02.14.17 - MD DNR drafts plan that would shrink state's oyster sanctuaries

02.14.17 - CBF Press Statement Proposal Would Allow Harvest on Nearly 1,000 Acres of Best Oyster Sanctuaries

02.13.17 - Farm stewardship program has certified farms in every Maryland county

02.13.17 - Environmentalists propose strict new measures to curb Maryland forest loss

02.07.17 - Video Environmentalists upset over draft plan to allow 'pollution trading'

02.07.17 - Second Annual Baltimore 'Floatilla' to be Held this June

01.28.17 - Glendale Farm owners complete certification

01.21.17 - Let's hope Pruitt sticks to Bay pollution diet

01.19.17 - Perdue turns to composting to get more poultry waste off farm fields

01.15.17 - Video Maryland spends $1M a year to transport chicken litter, to the benefit of the Chesapeake—and poultry companies

01.10.17 - Funding common theme as Bay states confront 2017 environmental issues

01.09.17 - That's Chesapeake with a 'C'

01.06.17 - Gov. Hogan releases environmental package

01.05.17 - Bay health report card shows positive trend

01.05.17 - Video Chesapeake Bay Report 2016 finds improvements

01.05.17 - Video Chesapeake Bay health improves by two points, to a C- rating

01.05.17 - Video Chesapeake Bay takes leap in health, report shows

01.03.17 - Video Hogan unveils $65 million environmental agenda

01.02.17 - Environmentalists ponder future of Severn River cliffs

12.31.16 - Year end Right Ons and Boos for the Outdoors

12.28.16 - Farmers look to greener pastures: Grazing over feed crops

12.26.16 - CBF gets $1.1M to help livestock farmers with conservation

12.25.16 - Manure spreading on farms will be extended a month in 2017

12.23.16 - Delauter wants tax break for enhanced septic systems

12.21.16 - $1 million in grant funds available for Carroll, Frederick, Washington county farmers

12.21.16 - County adopts tier map into comp plan despite opposition

12.21.16 - CBF Press Statement $1 Million Award Will Help Put More Maryland Livestock in Clover

12.18.16 - Maryland's shoreline protections keep getting nibbled away

12.16.16 - Bay Critical Area two-year report

12.13.16 - Video Congress asks for more funding to clean up Bay

12.12.16 - Firms go green to aid environment and themselves at the same time

12.12.16 - Highland View Academy receives $4,789 grant from Chesapeake Bay Trust

11.21.16 - Consumers will shape the future of the Bay

11.07.16 - Rain dance: Different levels of government work for common ground on Bay

11.05.16 - Plan to attend agriculture and environmental law conference

11.02.16 - Percolating our way to a cleaner Bay

11.01.16 - Foundation announces annual Anne Arundel philanthropy awards

10.31.16 - Researchers still uncertain of bacteria source in Frederick County waterways

10.31.16 - Video Chesapeake Bay Foundation charity bibs available for Across the Bay 10K

10.31.16 - Stevenson's Reef Ball Project

10.29.16 - Volunteers work in Canton 'oyster garden'

10.28.16 - MDE Approves Counties' Stormwater Financial Plans, Environmentalists Critical

10.27.16 - Happy Homes for Oysters

10.25.16 - Stormwater cleanup shortcut shouldn't be OK'd

10.24.16 - Hands needed to protect creek in Woodsboro

10.22.16 - As stormwater improvement deadlines approach, county seeks flexibility

10.21.16 - Oyster aquaculture forum set for Nov. 3 in Easton

10.21.16 - Kent School Collaborates with National Aquarium

10.18.16 - Video Chasing gulls chasing the Chesapeake Bay anchovy

10.18.16 - Huntingtown High group hosts Bay restoration, conservation event

10.18.16 - CBF Press Statement CBF Issues Statement on MDE's Approval of Stormwater Runoff Plans

10.17.16 - Flaws alleged in MD localities' stormwater plans

10.17.16 - 8-inch blue crab surprises students

10.13.16 - Chesapeake Bay has its own king crab: Giant blue is caught in Harford County

10.13.16 - High school students on Maryland boat tour encounter massive blue crab

10.12.16 - Giant blue crab caught by Maryland high school students

10.11.16 - Giant Blue Crab in the Chesapeake Bay

10.11.16 - Check out this giant crab found near Havre de Grace

10.11.16 - The Sellers: A Carroll County farm family since 1888

10.10.16 - Audio available Bringing up baby oysters in Baltimore's Inner Harbor

10.08.16 - Oyster Stroll crowd takes note of Bay Foundation shell recycling

10.05.16 - Restoring wetlands: Chestnut Creek Farm owners install environmental improvements

10.04.16 - Crosby Celebrates Fourth Annual "Inspiring Actions That Matter Day of Service"

09.30.16 - Harbor East Marina Adds 25 Oyster Cages to Inner Harbor's Eco-Friendly Collection

09.28.16 - Harbor East Marina to install oyster cages to help reduce harbor water pollution

09.22.16 - Bay pollution loads reduce between 2014-15

09.17.16 - Video Some fear a fix for Kent Island sewage will trigger more development

09.16.16 - CBF op-ed argues stormwater runoff not just an urban problem

09.16.16 - Bad news for black bass

09.15.16 - Smoots Bay project looking for volunteers this weekend

09.14.16 - 'Rain tax' helps fight polluted runoff in county streams

09.12.16 - Largemouth bass reef project seeks volunteers

09.08.16 - Ellicott City flood prompts call for nine-month freeze on development

09.07.16 - Keep it at Bay

09.07.16 - Tred Avon oyster restoration resumes for the time being

09.03.16 - Future Harvest CASA Receives Grant for Beginning Farmers

08.31.16 - Bacteria remains concern in small Frederick County waterways

08.30.16 - Harford County has multiple stormwater remediation projects in the works

08.26.16 - High levels of fecal bacteria found in Harford streams for second year

08.26.16 - Fecal matter in White Marsh Run more than 400 times healthy levels

08.26.16 - Video Excessive fecal bacteria found in Maryland waterways

08.25.16 - Unsafe levels of fecal bacteria found in streams across Baltimore region

08.24.16 - Summer water monitoring again finds high fecal bacteria in Harford streams

08.24.16 - Tests find high levels of fecal matter in Md., Va. streams and rivers

08.24.16 - Tests find high levels of fecal matter in streams, rivers

08.24.16 - High levels of human and animal fecal material found in Maryland waterways

08.24.16 - Tests find bacteria levels in Maryland bodies of water far above federal safety standards

08.24.16 - CBF Press Release Water Tests Find High Levels of Fecal Material in Area Streams and Rivers, including Swimming Holes

08.23.16 - Rollback of septic system requirements raises questions about Bay impact

08.23.16 - The septic backslide

08.23.16 - Churchton Critical Area project pushing ahead

08.07.16 - Oyster population in protected areas of Chesapeake shows signs of renewal

08.02.16 - Maryland panel agrees to resume Tred Avon oyster restoration

08.02.16 - Oyster population in protected areas of Chesapeake shows signs of renewal

08.02.16 - Video Watermen, environmentalists praise compromise allowing Tred Avon oyster restoration to resume

08.02.16 - Video Environmental groups worrying success could impact oyster recovery efforts

08.01.16 - Review finds Maryland oysters thriving in sanctuaries, not so much elsewhere

08.01.16 - Oyster population in protected areas of Chesapeake shows signs of renewal

08.01.16 - CBF Press Statement CBF Statement on Tred Avon: Oysters Still Threatened

07.30.16 - Video Oysters should have a ball

07.29.16 - Video Reef balls make maiden deployment for oyster habitat

07.28.16 - CBF Press Release Maryland Oysters Are Threatened Again

07.26.16 - Conference to showcase water quality restoration efforts in the Choptank watershed

07.25.16 - Video Maryland oyster programs among largest in the country

07.23.16 - Video Annapolis High IB graduate rows to success

07.22.16 - Can what's good for the Chesapeake reap benefits for farms?

07.20.16 - Chesapeake Bay grasses on the rebound

07.19.16 - Chesapeake under Congressional attack

07.18.16 - Video Dolphins making a splash in rivers near Annapolis

07.18.16 - Video Dolphin sightings delight county residents

07.17.16 - Further excavations planned to find Indian village

07.14.16 - Video Bay cleanup efforts threatened by House bill

07.09.16 - Healthy and abundant Bay grasses worth celebrating

07.06.16 - State proposes to ease fall fertilizer restrictions on farmers

07.06.16 - Should the United States Save Tangier Island from Oblivion?

07.06.16 - Hogan administration eyes relaxing Maryland farm pollution regulation

06.30.16 - Maryland weighs delay, changes in farm pollution regulation

06.30.16 - Video A Chesapeake Bay River So Clear, You Can Snorkel in It

06.30.16 - Raising Oysters for a Healthy Harbor in Baltimore

06.27.16 - Maryland watermen banned for life following rockfish poaching convictions

06.24.16 - Rotting sea lettuce creates stink

06.17.16 - EPA: Chesapeake Bay goals not likely to be met in 2017

06.14.16 - On the Bay: Chesapeake's no oxygen 'dead zone' to be average or smaller

06.01.16 - Regulators offer Baltimore another 14 1/2 years to fix chronic sewage problems

06.01.16 - CBF Press Statement Agreement for Fixing Baltimore Sewers Should Be Top Priority of New Mayor

05.31.16 - How Baltimore's Clean Harbor Mandate Filled People's Homes with Sewage

05.31.16 - The World Is Their Oyster

05.24.16 - Across the Bay 10K partners with Charm City Run

05.20.16 - Video After 10 months of nurturing, volunteer oyster gardeners cut 'youngsters' loose

05.19.16 - How Pennsylvania farmers can help the Chesapeake Bay raise its "C" grade

05.14.16 - Video Sewage soiling thousands of city basements, but another decade of repairs loom

05.09.16 - The Inner Harbor's latest 'F'

05.08.16 - Harbor posts failing grades in water quality report card again, pushing 'swimmable' goal further out of reach

05.06.16 - Environmentalists question declining pollution enforcement in Md.

05.06.16 - Environmental leaders tell MDE to crack down on polluters

05.06.16 - Drop in environmental enforcement in Maryland draws activists' concern

04.28.16 - Survey finds strong growth of underwater grasses in Chesapeake Bay

04.25.16 - Deal reached on fish, eel passage at Conowingo Dam

04.20.16 - City leaders to discuss preparations for sea level rise

04.19.16 - Video Levels of pollutant reduce in Chesapeake Bay, new study finds

04.14.16 - Students gain concrete skills by building oyster reef balls

04.13.16 - Reef ball construction at CAT North

04.13.16 - Maryland set to conduct more detailed oyster survey after Assembly passes controversial bill

04.13.16 - Maryland lawmakers act on climate change, land preservation, pollinators, and oysters

04.13.16 - Video Department of Natural Resources survey shows healthy crab population

04.13.16 - Susquehanna named one of country's 'most endangered rivers'

04.13.16 - Susquehanna named third most-endangered river in U.S. by environmental group

04.13.16 - The Chesapeake Bay blue crab population is up 35 percent

04.12.16 - Video Blue crab population increase could lead to looser regulations

04.12.16 - DNR: crab populations up

04.12.16 - Video Crab survey shows growing population in Chesapeake

04.12.16 - Video Chesapeake blue crab population grows 35 percent; DNR predicts 'robust' season

04.12.16 - Dredge survey finds Bay crab stocks up

04.12.16 - CBF Press Statement CBF Issues Statement on Blue Crab Population

04.11.16 - Creating jobs—and environmental awareness

04.08.16 - Howard plan to 'restore development rights' divides farming community

04.07.16 - More boots on the ground needed to inspect erosion at building sites

04.06.16 - Oyster study debate heats up in Maryland

04.06.16 - Senator: Oyster bill addresses a serious problem

04.05.16 - Video Maryland Watermen Head to Annapolis for Oyster Bill Hearing

04.05.16 - Controversial Churchton housing plan appealed

04.04.16 - CBF Press Statement CBF Statement Supports BLocal Program

04.04.16 - OSI's board members, grantees, fellows shine at Light City

04.04.16 - Ospreys 'thriving' in Chesapeake despite lingering toxins, study finds

04.04.16 - Oyster study bill advances despite watermen objections

04.04.16 - Hopkins, BGE announce major job initiative with 25 Baltimore companies

04.01.16 - Severna Park osprey camera goes live

03.29.16 - Video BGE Trying to Keep Osprey away from Live Electric Lines

03.29.16 - No public accounting for Baltimore's sewage problem

03.24.16 - OysterFutures project kicks off discussions about fishing and restoration

03.22.16 - Lower Shore manure numbers revealed

03.20.16 - CBF discusses Shore initiative in Cecil

03.18.16 - Report: Nutrients upstream biggest concern with Conowingo Dam

03.18.16 - Grab the hand sanitizer, hold your nose, and paddle for a healthy harbor

03.18.16 - MD wants to take shells for oyster project from prime fishing reef

03.18.16 - MDE, MDA join forces to establish nutrient trading

03.14.16 - Excessive phosphorus levels measured on 18 percent of Maryland farmland

03.14.16 - MDA: Most farmland not affected by PMT

03.14.16 - Potentially polluting phosphorus levels in 18 percent of Maryland farm fields, state says

03.14.16 - Bill could pay Harris Creek boat damages

03.12.16 - Challenge to stormwater permits denied by Maryland's highest court

03.11.16 - Maryland stormwater permits upheld, rejecting complaints they're not tough enough

03.11.16 - At Maryland farms, manure comes up missing

03.11.16 - Harford authorized to spend $200,000 for outside lawyers in 'rain tax,' rubblefill cases

03.08.16 - Watermen oppose oyster study

03.04.16 - Thumbs up for reef balls

02.24.16 - Bill to cleanup chicken manure pits environmental groups against poultry industry

02.24.16 - What to do with chicken poo

02.14.16 - Poultry, the environment, and Delmarva

02.13.16 - MDA secretary talks poultry with Shore reps

02.11.16 - New stink arises from chicken poop

02.08.16 - Panel discussion on food production and a clean Bay

02.05.16 - Report: Maryland must diversify pollution reduction efforts

02.03.16 - Maryland loses $1M in oyster restoration funding after Tred Avon River project is delayed

02.03.16 - A proposed Maryland law wants to make big chicken producers responsible for dealing with their poop

02.02.16 - Maryland lawmakers take aim at chicken manure

02.02.16 - Video CBF: Chesapeake Bay on the right track

02.02.16 - Video Schuh backs bill to raise cap on oyster shell recycling tax credit

02.02.16 - Maryland chicken farmers seek relief from new manure rules

02.02.16 - Shore reps say manure bill is bull

02.02.16 - Video Md. poultry companies urged to pick up bay cleaning tab

02.02.16 - Md. lawmakers address poultry waste, oyster restoration

02.02.16 - MD, VA lawmakers grapple with Bay-related issues

02.02.16 - CBF Press Release Environment, Budget Leaders Introduce Bill to Make Chicken Companies Responsible for Their Manure in Maryland

01.29.16 - Standing Legislation a Priority for Leading Environmental Group

01.27.16 - On the Bay: Sea level expert visit, cover crops set record

01.24.16 - Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy names Horstman executive director

01.22.16 - Chicken manure bill back in Maryland

01.21.16 - Oyster restoration work should continue

01.21.16 - Proposed stormwater fee phase-out causes flurry of opposition at Howard County Council hearing

01.20.16 - Small towns, big challenges

01.20.16 - Hogan's $42 billion budget not causing much indigestion—yet

01.20.16 - Video Hogan's budget plan contains $36M in tax, fee reductions

01.19.16 - Senate Committee Hears Bill Creating 'Lockbox' on Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund, Among Others

01.19.16 - Trading ideas on how to trade pollution

01.17.16 - Water quality advocates press for reforms as city negotiates new deadline to stop sewage leaks

01.17.16 - Scientists, watermen work together in new study to preserve oyster industry

01.15.16 - Environmental Groups Outline 2016 Legislative and Budget Initiatives

01.15.16 - Congress responds to delay in Tred Avon oyster restoration work

01.14.16 - Environmental groups take on chicken manure in Maryland

01.13.16 - Watermen seek, win, halt in Tred Avon oyster restoration project

01.13.16 - Video Hogan Administration halts plans to bring oysters back to Chesapeake

01.13.16 - Bay groups react to halted oyster restoration

01.11.16 - Nutrient trading highlighted at symposium

01.11.16 - Reef ball project aims to return habitat, fish to Smoots Bay area of Potomac River

01.09.16 - As General Assembly session begins, it's Hogan vs. Democrats

01.08.16 - Environmental organizations discuss legislative wish list

01.08.16 - Tred Avon oyster restoration delayed

01.05.16 - Healthy Waters Round Table sets goals, priorities

12.27.15 - Maryland DNR asks Army Corp to delay Tred Avon oyster restoration work

12.24.15 - State seeks to delay Eastern Shore oyster restoration

12.23.15 - Environmentalists threaten to sue to protect yellow perch spawning area

12.23.15 - Environmental groups sue to stop Four Seasons

12.18.15 - 6 things to know about Baltimore's sewage struggle

12.18.15 - Embattled Four Seasons development back in court

12.18.15 - Pollution in water, mud near Sparrows Point needs attention, study finds

12.15.15 - Residents criticize Talbot draft plan

12.15.15 - Eastern Shore Counties and Towns Unite to Propose Collaborative Actions to Clean Local Waters

12.15.15 - Federal grant to benefit Frederick County farmers

12.06.15 - Conservation awards announced by soil district

11.27.15 - Questions loom over effects of state's oyster recovery efforts on watermen's bottom lines

11.24.15 - Video Local farmer shows off subsurface drip irrigation

11.23.15 - CBF Press Release Innovative CBF Farmer Program to Expand; Higher Farm Profits, Cleaner Water Will Result

11.23.15 - Oyster Expo airs fishery woes

11.20.15 - Environmental groups: Bad time to drop 'rain tax' amid high fish kills in Md.

11.18.15 - State votes to license more than a thousand senior homes on Kent Island

11.18.15 - CBF Press Statement CBF: The Fight Isn't over against Four Seasons Development Project

11.18.15 - Confusion and Frustration as Maryland High Court Hears Arguments over Stormwater Permits

11.18.15 - Environmental groups concerned as Baltimore County phases out 'rain tax'

11.18.15 - Environmentalists want this state to take chicken poop out of its clean energy plan

11.17.15 - County Council votes to phase out controversial 'rain tax'

11.16.15 - Maritime museum announces living shoreline project

11.16.15 - Baltimore County Council approves phasing out stormwater fee

11.16.15 - Video Rally before unanimous vote repealing rain tax in Baltimore County

11.16.15 - On the Bay: After years of delay, state to again consider license for Kent Island housing development

11.16.15 - Political storm in Baltimore County over so-called "Rain Tax"

11.13.15 - Farmers v. Chesapeake Bay, Part III

11.13.15 - Video Toxic algae suspended in big Middle River fish kill

11.10.15 - Can Food Production and a Clean Chesapeake Bay Coexist?

11.09.15 - 'Oyster Expo' set for Easton Nov. 18

11.04.15 - Maryland, Virginia support EPA's fight against Clean Power Plan overturn

11.03.15 - Ellie Altman to receive Conservation Landscaping Award

11.03.15 - World literacy toward ag vital, too

11.02.15 - MD court to hear appeals over stormwater permits for Baltimore, 4 counties

10.30.15 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation helps farmers keep cows, bacteria out of streams

10.27.15 - Communication about Bay is vital

10.26.15 - Bay Foundation questions Baltimore County's move to eliminate 'rain tax'

10.22.15 - Oyster restoration effort underway in Patapsco River

10.22.15 - Baltimore Oyster Partnership to Plant 5 Million Baby Oysters by 2020

10.22.15 - Weekend Lineup: Oct. 23-25

10.21.15 - 5 million oysters to be planted in the Patapsco River by 2020

10.21.15 - WSSC agrees to reduce pollution in Potomac River from treatment plant

10.20.15 - Saturday: The Great Baltimore Oyster Festival

10.15.15 - Panel to Discuss "Can Food Production and a Clean Chesapeake Bay Coexist?"

10.06.15 - Harris Creek reef restoration at 350 acres, is largest ever

09.25.15 - Teach your children well: Education mandate propels environmental programs in schools

09.25.15 - 'Stalking' tactics raise ire of charter skippers

09.23.15 - Scientists say Maryland's gigantic new oyster reef is a pearl that could save the Chesapeake Bay

09.21.15 - Farm Bureau Wants Supreme Court to Toss Bay Clean Water Blueprint

09.21.15 - Talbot County farmer among first in area to adopt two-stage ditch

09.21.15 - CBF Press Release Farm Bureau Prepares to Ask Supreme Court to Throw Out the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint

09.15.15 - A final oyster planting in Harris Creek

09.13.15 - Md. gets schools, students involved in environment

09.10.15 - Farm tour highlights importance of Bay-friendly practices

09.08.15 - Should Md. put moratorium on poultry houses?

09.08.15 - Environmentalists call for moratorium on Shore poultry growth

09.08.15 - EPA analyzes animal ag regulations for Md., Del.

09.04.15 - EPA: Maryland farmers lead in pollution reduction efforts

09.02.15 - Maryland farmers attempt to reduce pollution

09.01.15 - Growing food on a farm for the Bay

09.01.15 - Md., Del. on different paths toward Chesapeake cleanup

08.31.15 - EPA praises Maryland's farm pollution control efforts, skip shortcomings

08.31.15 - Delaware farms can do more to keep water clean

08.28.15 - Want to help the Bay? Plant seeds in September

08.27.15 - Delaney hosts workshop on climate action

08.25.15 - Video Spending a morning on the Chesapeake Bay

08.25.15 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation educational boat trip

08.23.15 - Md. teachers get schooled in the envrionment at the Chesapeake Bay

08.19.15 - Water testing partnership finding high bacteria counts in popular swimming areas

08.17.15 - Remarks at recent fact-finding hearing on flooding weren't all that reassuring

08.16.15 - Many groups working for Bay cleanup

08.13.15 - Environmental literacy made Md. graduation requirement

08.13.15 - Green Gardens, Clean Water

08.13.15 - Salisbury Joins Healthy Waters Round Table

08.12.15 - Conowingo Dam fish-lift overhaul urged to restore Susquehanna's shad, eels

08.10.15 - Project turning a vacant Baltimore lot into a greenspace

08.08.15 - Crabby governors duel over Chesapeake delicacy

08.08.15 - Q&A with Dick Franyo: Boatyard Bar & Grill owner discusses his support of sailing, maritime events

08.07.15 - Teen of the Week: Annapolis High grad didn't take the easy route to the Big Easy

07.30.15 - Time to walk the walk on clean waters

07.29.15 - Watershed states gather to reaffirm commitment to bay cleanup

07.29.15 - Action needed on Bay cleanup

07.27.15 - Camp for teachers

07.22.15 - Manchester Valley High administrators turn focus to environment

07.17.15 - Environmentalists 'cautiously optimistic' for Maryland's bay cleanup

07.17.15 - Crews replenishing Wicomico oyster reefs

07.16.15 - Water tests indicate presence of fecal matter

07.16.15 - Report shows high levels of bacteria in Frederick county streams

07.16.15 - Stream testing shows high levels of bacteria in some popular Harford swimming spots

07.16.15 - Video Harmful bacteria found in Frederick, Md. freshwater lakes, streams

07.16.15 - CBF Press Release Water Tests Show High Levels of Harmful Bacteria in Some Fresh Water Streams and Lakes in Frederick, Howard, and Harford Counties

07.14.15 - Assessment tracks Bay states' environmental practices

07.14.15 - CBF Press Release Milestone Assessment Finds Mixed Results in Maryland

07.14.15 - Group collects shells in effort to save the Chesapeake Bay

07.08.15 - Federal appeals court upholds EPA's bay cleanup measures

07.06.15 - Appeals court upholds Chesapeake Bay cleanup

07.03.15 - Chesapeake Bay Health: The Good, the Bad, and the Flooding

07.03.15 - Bay improves, but far from saved

07.01.15 - Experts debate whether rays are fishery threat


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