This Week in the Watershed: Blizzard 2016 Edition

Throughout much of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, all the buzz is the upcoming blizzard, set to strike Friday afternoon and persist through much of the weekend. With estimates of two-plus feet in some locations, traveling will be nearly impossible. In managing the preparation and aftermath of the storm, many safety measures will be implemented. Foremost among these will be treating roads and sidewalks with various chemicals. While this is necessary for safe travel, we can't help but ask, what affect do these chemicals, particularly salt, have on our local waterways? We sat down with CBF Senior Scientist Beth McGee to pick her brain:

Also, check out this infographic on snow and the Bay:

ROAD SALT-1200

It is necessary to treat our roads and sidewalks. But we should be cognizant of the impact salt and other chemicals have on our waterways and the critters that inhabit them. Using less salt and other safer materials, such as sand, can make a dramatic difference while still ensuring our safety. If we ignore the harm of overusing salt and other hazardous chemicals on our roads, the dangerous impact can strike long after the snow has melted.

By the way, this week was quite eventful in the fight to save the Bay. Pennsylvania released it's long-awaited reboot, detailing its plan for cleaning up the Commonwealth's polluted waterways. CBF and the U.S. Department of Justice filed briefs urging the Supreme Court not to review the case that would dismantle the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. And not to be outdone, CBF's Virginia office is hard at work lobbying to boost funding for programs that help farms and cities reduce pollution entering Virginia's waterways. Check out the press statements/releases below to get caught up:

CBF Press Release: Pennsylvania Releases New Strategy for Reducing Water Pollution

CBF Press Statement: CBF and Partners Argue Supreme Court Should Let Bay Restoration Rulings Stand

CBF Press Statement: CBF Statement on Virginia Budget Amendments

This Week in the Watershed: Pennsylvania Plans, Supreme Court Briefs, and Chicken Fights

  • CBF and several other environmental groups are pushing for legislation in Maryland that would hold large poultry companies responsible for excess chicken manure on the Eastern Shore. (Daily Times--MD)
  • Pennsylvania has released a new plan to clean up its rivers and streams. (Keystone News Service--PA)
  • CBF's Director of Fisheries Bill Goldsborough argues that oyster restoration should not be delayed in Maryland. (Star Democrat--MD)
  • Small communities on the Eastern Shore of Maryland face unique challenges in the work to Save the Bay. (Star Democrat--MD)
  • Phasing out the vital stormwater fee in Howard County (MD) has environmentalists in an uproar. (Baltimore Sun--MD)
  • CBF and the U.S. Department of Justice filed briefs urging the Supreme Court not to review the case that would dismantle the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. (Bay Journal
  • The advent of huge, factory-style chicken farms on the Delmarva Peninsula poses many consequences, especially for their neighbors. (Virginian-Pilot--VA)
  • A new bill has been proposed in Maryland which would put a "lockbox" around funds designated for Bay restoration. (Southern Maryland Online--MD)
  • New technology has changed the way we look at the Chesapeake Bay watershed. (Bay Journal)
  • Baltimore's antiquated sewer system is in desperate need of repair. Sewage leaks and failure to meet deadlines have led to fines from the EPA, which financially stress the city. We believe these fines should be tied to water quality improvement projects. (Baltimore Sun--MD)

What's Happening Around the Watershed?

January 16-February 6

  • Across Virginia: Help restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia's rivers by participating in CBF's Grasses for the Masses program. Participants grow wild celery, a type of underwater grass, in their homes for 10-12 weeks. After 10-12 weeks of growing, participants will gather to plant their grasses in select local rivers to bolster grass populations and help restore the Bay. Workshops are being held throughout Virginia. Click here to find one near you!

January 30

  • Annapolis, MD: Join oceanographer and international sea level rise expert John Englander, author of High Tide on Main Street, on January 30 for a talk about the future of shorelines in Annapolis, across the US, and around the globe. RSVP to histpres@annapolis.gov or call Shari Pippen at 410-263-7961.

--Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate

Drew Robinson

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