From the Desk of Alan Girard Summer 2016

Communities Coming Together for Clean Water 

Maryland's Eastern Shore Director Alan Girard. Photo by Nikki Davis.
CBF's Eastern Shore of Maryland Director Alan Girard. Photo by Nikki Davis.

Just as Marylanders coalesce around picnic tables to crack crabs in summer, so do people come together to restore the Bay and its rivers back to health.

On three Saturday nights in June, thousands flocked to the streets of Easton with a mission: Get educated about Bay issues, celebrate the progress being made for clean water, and have a good time. Sponsored by CBF and the Avalon Foundation, the fourth annual Clean Water Concert Series exhibited a community who cares about the health of our rivers and streams that lead to the Bay.

"If we didn't have clean water, we would have nothing," says one concert goer who shared her views at the series. Check out this video (here and below) to see and hear what people are saying about the importance of clean water to the Chesapeake Bay region.

One of the many benefits of working together to Save the Bay is the positive impact it can have on the region's economy.

In a peer-reviewed study, economist Spencer Phillips and CBF's Dr. Beth McGee found that the lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay region provide economic benefits that total more than $107 billion annually. These benefits include agricultural and seafood production, enhanced property values, and protection from floods and hurricanes.

But what if the science-based, multi-state plan known as the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint now being implemented is made to fully succeed at restoring the Bay's water quality? Researchers say that the value of these same benefits will increase a whopping $22 billion per year. 

The economic importance of clean water is not lost on Eastern Shore residents, including the county and town leaders who represent us. In 2015, CBF and partners brought together local elected officials and staff on the Shore to explore ways that they can work together to implement the Blueprint. With limited resources at hand, localities participating in the Healthy Waters Round Table are now collaborating on several strategic priorities to build capacity for achieving clean water goals without breaking the bank.

"Many local leaders on Maryland's Eastern Shore care deeply about the value that clean water brings to local economies and the region's quality of life," said Talbot County Council's Dirck Bartlett in an earlier statement about the round table's action plan. "But we have a long way to go to meet goals for cleaner water on the Shore. This plan allows for the counties and municipalities here to work together on the most practical, cost-effective clean-up strategies."

Whether it's our local elected leaders or the citizens and businesses that they serve, coming together as a community of people who care is at the very core of the progress being made to clean up the Bay and its rivers and streams. CBF's Maryland Eastern Shore team is proud to be a catalyst for actions that result in less pollution. Please stay involved as we continue to work together to finish the job of saving the Bay!

—Alan Girard
Eastern Shore of Maryland Director
Chesapeake Bay Foundation


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