This Week in the Watershed: The Bay's Bread and Butter

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There are only a few days left to help "the most important fish in the sea." Menhaden are the bread and butter for so many Bay creatures. It all starts with sunlight feeding the growth of an immense number of microscopic algae cells and tiny crustaceans throughout the Chesapeake and its tributaries. The oily, silvery fish consumes these nutrients, packing on calories and protein. Knowing a good meal when it sees one, critters from ospreys, to dolphins, to humpback whales, eat menhaden and rely on it for sustenance.

While menhaden are a crucial link in the food chain between sunlight and big predators, the Chesapeake Bay is not seeing the number of young menhaden it did historically, raising concerns for anyone who cares about the Bay's health.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) manages menhaden harvests along the Atlantic Coast. Right now, the Commission is accepting public comments on proposed changes to its menhaden management plan that could help the fish rebound. They need to hear from you—before the Oct. 24 deadline—that menhaden need a strong, ecosystem-based management plan.

A critter that plays such a critical role in the Bay's ecosystem deserves this recognition and respect. Lend your voice for the mighty menhaden now!

This Week in the Watershed: Fish Film, Solar Water, and a Planting Machine

  • Learn about menhaden and how you can help this critical fishery at a film screening of "Menhaden: The Most Important Fish in the Bay," followed by a discussion with CBF Maryland Fisheries Scientist, Allison Colden. (Chestertown Spy—MD)
  • Menhaden, often called "the most important fish in the sea," deserve the development of ecological reference points, writes Chris Moore, CBF's Senior Scientist, and Richard Moncure, Tidal River Steward for Friends of the Rappahannock. (Free Lance Star—VA)
  • A solar watering station developed by CBF is now available to Virginia farmers on a trial basis. The sustainable solution helps reduce livestock entering waterways. (Daily Progress—VA)
  • CBF's vessel the Patricia Campbell is a well-oiled oyster-planting machine, writes CBF Senior Naturalist, John Page Williams. (Chesapeake Bay Magazine)
  • CBF's Board of Trustees Chairman Harry Lester writes on how individuals can take steps to combat climate change at home. (The Virginian Pilot—VA)

    What's Happening Around the Watershed?

    October 21

    • Washington County, MD: Come help CBF plant more than 1,000 trees and shrubs. This planting is the final stage of restoring a floodplain in the Antietam Creek watershed. Click here to register!
    • Annapolis, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve–the mighty oyster! Join us for a new oyster gardener workshop to the supplies and training necessary to grow your own oysters. During the two-hour workshop, you will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for your oyster garden. You will also construct four oyster gardening cages that you will use to grow your oysters. Click here to register!
    • Annapolis, MD: Returning oyster gardeners can pick up their spat for the fall/winter season. Click here to register!

    October 22

    • Shady Side, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve–the mighty oyster! Join us for a new oyster gardener workshop to the supplies and training necessary to grow your own oysters. During the two-hour workshop, you will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for your oyster garden. You will also construct four oyster gardening cages that you will use to grow your oysters. Click here to register!
    • Shady Side, MD: Returning oyster gardeners can pick up their spat for the fall/winter season. Click here to register!

    October 23

    • Chestertown, MD: Why are menhaden known as "the most important fish in the sea?" How is its population doing in the Bay? What can you do to help these critical critters persist? Join us for a film screening of "Menhaden: The Most Important Fish in the Bay," followed by a discussion with CBF Maryland Fisheries Scientist, Allison Colden. RSVP to Hilary Gibson at hgibson@cbf.org or 410-543-1999.

    October 28

    • Frederick County, MD: Come help CBF plant more than 1,000 trees and shrubs along Israel Creek on a beef cattle farm in Frederick County. Approximately 5,000 feet of stream banks will be planted resulting is five acres of new riparian buffer. Israel Creek is in the Monocacy River watershed, which flows to the Potomac River then to the Chesapeake Bay. Click here to register!

    October 30

    • Fredericksburg, VA: Join us for a Clean Water Breakfast watershed updates from CBF and Friends of the Rappahannock's Kathy Harrigan. Learn the water quality challenges the next administration will need to tackle and our asks of the next Governor. Click here to register!

    November 4

    • Frederick County, MD: Come help CBF plant more than 800 trees on a beautiful, diversified farm that grows organic vegetables, 100-percent grass fed beef, pastured pork, and pastured poultry. After the planting, stick around to get a farm tour to see sustainable agriculture in practice and learn more about it firsthand. Click here to register!
    Drew Robinson 90x110

    Drew Robinson

    Digital Advocacy and Outreach Manager, CBF

    drobinson@cbf.org

    Issues in this Post

    Fisheries   Advocate   Conservation   Events   Fisheries   Fishing   Sustainability   What We Have to Lose   CBF in Maryland   CBF in Virginia   Eastern Shore Office   Federal Affairs Office   Hampton Roads Office   Maryland Office, Annapolis   Pennsylvania Office   Virginia Office, Richmond  




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