What images immediately come to mind when you hear the word, "Pollution?" For many, smokestacks, factory pipes dumping waste into streams, and leaks from wastewater treatment plants are the first thought. These are all examples of point source pollution, and while very serious, this type of pollution is not the leading culprit in harming the Chesapeake Bay. Rather, nonpoint source pollution is causing the most damage to the Bay and its rivers and streams.
This nonpoint source pollution occurs when rain runs off our streets, parking lots, and farmland, picking up pollutants of all sorts, and dumping them into our waterways. Specifically, agricultural runoff is the leading nonpoint source of pollution to the Bay. The good news is that while agriculture is the largest source of pollution, it's the cheapest to fix.
Step in, CBF's Clagett Farm. Using sustainable farming methods, Clagett is living proof that when agricultural best management practices are implemented, both the farmer and the environment stand to gain major benefits. With this example, and efforts to engage and educate farmers, it's our hope that the agricultural community will lead us to cleaner water.
This Week in the Watershed: Farming for the Bay, Warming Waters, and Poultry House Moratoriums
- CBF's Clagett Farm is a special place, where environmental sustainability, economic vitality, community building, and education all coalesce together. (Enquirer Gazette--MD)
- Climate change is impacting the blue crab and other fisheries in major ways. (Wilmington News Journal--DE)
- The Berret's 25th annual crab race is in the books, raising an estimated $2,000 for CBF! (Virginia Gazette--VA)
- A coalition of environmental groups called for a moratorium of new poultry houses on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. While CBF wasn't a part of this coalition, the rapid growth of the chicken industry on the Delmarva Peninsula is a problem the states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must address. (CBF Statement--MD)
What's Happening Around the Watershed?
- Norfolk area folks, come on out for a fun-filled, family-friendly event that combines educational engagement and ecological stewardship. RIVER-Fest 2015 will emphasize practices and activities that will sustain and improve the health of the Elizabeth River. To register, please email or call Tanner Council at TCouncil@cbf.org or 757-622-1964.
- The Richmond VoiCeS Course, an eight-week adult education class meeting on Tuesdays, starts September 15! This course will cover the history of the James, urban and rural runoff issues and solutions, practical methods to improve water quality in your backyard, and the critical importance of citizen action to saving the bay. Plus, there are field trips! Contact Blair Blanchette at 804-780-1392 or e-mail BBlanchette@cbf.org to register.
- Help CBF and partner organizations plant shrubs and wetland grasses at the former Naval Academy dairy farm. This 800-acre farm is the largest organic farm in the State of Maryland. Volunteers will plant a newly graded wetland in what was the old manure pond back when the farm was a dairy. Click here for more information.
- The Eastern Shore of Virginia VoiCeS Course, an eight-week adult education class meeting on Tuesdays, starts September 22! The course will cover regional environmental issues affecting the Eastern Shore of Virginia and the Bay watershed. The program provides information on subjects affecting the health of our community's natural environment and how you can take action. In-depth sessions are taught by Bay experts from CBF and other regional institutions and organizations. Click here to register!
- The U.S. Green Building Council's National Capital Region is hosting "Building for Climate Resilience: Adaptions and Strategies." Part of USGBC-NCR's lead-up to Greenbuild Voices on Resilience Campaign, this event will feature a panel of expert practitioners discussing real-world examples of projects designed and engineered to withstand our changing environment. Click here to learn more!
- Help CBF take out the trash! Join us in making the Choptank River cleaner and safer through a stream cleanup at the Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park. Click here to register!
- A vacant lot in West Baltimore is getting a facelift, with 4,000 shrubs, wild flowers, and grasses planted. Volunteers are needed for this urban restoration project that will reduce polluted runoff and beautify the neighborhood. Click here to register!
- Want to help restore the Bay's oyster population? Become an oyster gardener! New oyster gardeners are required to attend an Oyster Gardening Workshop before beginning their first year of gardening, such as one in Solomon's Island September 26. Returning gardeners can register to pickup spat. Click here to learn more!
- CBF's oyster gardening program is expanding to Baltimore Harbor! We're looking for 50 new gardeners to care for two cages of oysters each over the winter and then "plant" them on a reef in the spring. This unusual hobby is fun, educational and helps to clean the harbor waters. Register here!
--Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate