Around the region, irresponsible developments are being approved at the risk of polluting our waters. These poor decisions are hitting a nerve. Last month, at a packed public hearing over the proposed rezoning of Virginia's Fones Cliffs, the vast majority of speakers spoke out against development. This week, more than 1,100 CBF supporters responded to our call to action, sending e-mails to Maryland's Board of Public Works voicing their disapproval for a Kent Island housing development on a wetland. Both of these proposed developments are examples of large-scale building in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Despite this citizen protest, the outside developers won each time. Their shortsighted appeals of economic stimulus to the communities were chosen over the long-term economic benefits that a healthy Chesapeake Bay would provide. A recent study commissioned by CBF revealed that if the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is fully implemented, it will provide an increase of $22.5 billion (that's billion with a "B") in natural benefits to the watershed every year. Talk about an economic stimulus.
Nobody ever said protecting the Bay would be easy. While clean water didn't win at Fones Cliffs or Kent Island this time, the fight isn't over. We won't back down.
This Week in the Watershed: Dirty Development, Farm Nutrients, and Oyster Love
- Agriculture and fisheries management have collided with the recent boom of aquaculture in Maryland. (Daily Times--MD)
- An irresponsible development on Kent Island called Four Seasons was approved despite citizen protest. (Capital Gazette--MD)
- Dealing with the tons of chicken manure produced in Maryland every year is messy in more ways than one. But could it be used to produce clean, renewable energy? (Think Progress)
- Nutrient management plans have a history of controversy, a theme that will likely continue with the Bay Program approving nutrient reduction credits for farms. (Bay Journal)
- The Baltimore County Council unanimously approved phasing out the dedicated stormwater fee, while not providing an alternate plan for the county to pay for federally mandated stormwater remediation. (Baltimore Sun--MD)
- Any oyster fan will love this editorial and its celebration of November as Virginia Oyster Month. (Free Lance Star--VA)
- ICYMI: the Richmond County Board of Supervisors has voted to rezone Fones Cliffs, a treasured site on the Rappahannock River. (Bay Journal)
Lend Your Voice for Clean Water!
- The Susquehanna River is sick. For far too long, agricultural runoff, acid mine drainage, and polluted urban runoff have been fouling the Susquehanna River. This toxic brew threatens a powerful economic engine, a part of Pennsylvania's heritage, and the critters that call the river home. In the coming weeks, Pennsylvania's leaders have a chance to step in and start cleaning up our river, but if we want them to act, we must speak out in these next few crucial days. Stand with CBF and its partners in urging Governor Wolf and Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to save our river by listing the Lower Susquehanna River as impaired.
What's Happening Around the Watershed?
- Watershed-Wide: Happy Thanksgiving!
- The Internet: Cyber Monday is a great day to find online deals. Before you get started though, answer this--What if a simple click could help Save the Bay? Now it can. All you have to do is type www.cbf.org/amazon into your browser to shop on Amazon, and a percentage of every dollar you spend--no matter what you purchase--will go towards helping Save the Bay at no extra cost to you!
- Watershed-Wide: Giving Tuesday is a global movement focused on giving, and it's the perfect opportunity to give something back to the Bay, the creatures that call it home, and your whole community. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation for our Bay on Giving Tuesday, and your gift's impact will be doubled!
- VA Eastern Shore: Join CBF's monthly Citizen Advocacy Training to get a crash course on timely Bay legislative priorities and learn how they affect Virginia's Eastern Shore. This conference call will also allow time for you to ask questions and discuss opportunities to lend a hand or lift your voice for clean water. Contact Tatum Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-971-0366 for more information.
- Richmond, VA: Join us at the Virginia Conversation Network's General Assembly Preview. The event will cover topics like the Virginia Coastal Protection Act and the Clean Water Rule, with Delegate Lopez as the highlighted speaker. Lunch will be provided, but space is limited. Click here to register and learn more!
- Virginia Beach, VA: With far more requests for speaker's than we have staff or time, CBF relies on its Speaker's Bureau volunteers to handle a variety of speaking opportunities. Whether you are current on the issues and ready to share our message, or just enjoy public speaking and would like to get trained, we welcome your commitment to this important and high-profile program. Join us to learn the facts and skills to share our mission to Save the Bay with local groups and organizations. Click here to register!
--Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate