This Week in the Watershed: The Biggest Ever

crab in grasses

"The biggest ever recorded." It's not every day you hear that claim, but it is accurate in describing the resurgence of underwater grasses in the Bay. What's more, a recently released study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found not only are Bay grasses flourishing, but the comeback of grasses is "one of the few places on Earth," where ecological improvements are a direct result of human efforts to reduce pollution.

This is incontrovertible, science-based proof that the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is working! According to Chris Moore, CBF's Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist, the resurgence of underwater grasses is "a great indication that the changes we're making on land are having real, quantifiable impacts."

And these underwater grasses are critical to the health of the Bay. They serve as buffers against storms, store carbon, trap sediment, and provide critical habitat to iconic Bay critters such as the blue crab. The PNAS study also discovered unexpectedly that grasses and critters who live in the grasses share a mutually beneficial relationship—the more types of critters, the healthier the grasses.

This news is encouraging, but the work to save the Bay is not done. With continued implementation of the Blueprint, however, more good news is on the horizon.

Check out this video and dive deeper into the connection between underwater grasses and blue crabs:

This Week in the Watershed: Solar Battles, A Concerning Trend, and Growing Grasses

  • Two thumbs up to this editorial which praises the effort to plant ten billion oysters in the Bay, both for the effort's positive environmental and commercial impact. (Free Lance Star—VA)
  • Heavy rain in Baltimore Monday led to a release of 4.1 million gallons of sewage and rainwater into Jones Falls. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
  • Environmentalists are concerned that a nationwide trend is emerging in Maryland, with significantly fewer enforcement actions for water pollution. (Bay Journal)
  • A study found that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state power plant emissions-capping program, has generated $4 billion in net economic activity. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
  • Volunteers are needed for CBF's 30th Clean the Bay Day. (Alexandria News—VA) BONUS: Register here!
  • CBF President Will Baker and CBF Board of Trustees Chairman Harry Lester discussed the success of Bay cleanup efforts and the need for Virginia to make further investments in restoration projects. (Virginian Pilot—VA)
  • The growth of solar energy often faces resistance from those opposed to the loss of farmland and scenic landscapes. But a recent large-scale solar project in Maryland found an innovative setting for a field of solar panels—a landfill. (Bay Journal)
  • A scientific study confirmed the positive and negative impacts of sewage leaks and stormwater projects in Baltimore's Gwynns Falls watershed. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
  • Bad news for the Bay, as three poultry operations on Virginia's Eastern Shore received stormwater permits that do not require monitoring of runoff from the farms. (Daily Times—VA)
  • A new study found that underwater grasses are thriving in the Chesapeake Bay as a direct result from long-term improvements to reduce pollution. (Virginian Pilot—VA)

What's Happening Around the Watershed?

April 21   

  • Washington County, MD: Join us Earth Day weekend and help us plant more than 1,000 trees and shrubs along Little Antietam Creek. Click here to register!
  • Trappe, MD: Help CBF make the Choptank River cleaner and safer for the whole community during this river cleanup event. All supplies will be provided. Families and groups are welcome to attend. Click here to register!
  • Annapolis, MD: Calling all anglers! Join us for the 17th Annual Boatyard Bar & Grill Opening Day Rockfish Tournament. Part of proceeds benefit CBF. Click here to learn more and register!

April 28

  • Baltimore County, MD: Come help CBF plant more than 700 trees along Compass Run in the Prettyboy Reservoir watershed. This stream system supports brook trout, a fish species that is rapidly losing its habitat due to climate change. Click here to register!

May 16

  • Virginia Beach, VA: Join us for a boat trip on the Lynnhaven River. Examine what is living in this diverse and dynamic part of the Chesapeake Bay, and learn about the recovery of the oyster population in the Lynnhaven. Click here to learn more and register!
  • Annapolis, MD: Come on board for a sail on our historic skipjack the Stanley Norman. While aboard, you'll be invited to help hoist the sails or simply enjoy the view! You will leave with a better understanding of oysters and their role in keeping the Bay clean as well as what CBF is doing to restore the oyster stocks to save the Bay. Click here to register!

May 19

  • Annapolis, MD: Come on board for a sail on our historic skipjack the Stanley Norman. While aboard, you'll be invited to help hoist the sails or simply enjoy the view! You will leave with a better understanding of oysters and their role in keeping the Bay clean as well as what CBF is doing to restore the oyster stocks to save the Bay. Click here to register!

May 30

  • Annapolis, MD: Come on board for a sail on our historic skipjack the Stanley Norman. While aboard, you'll be invited to help hoist the sails or simply enjoy the view! You will leave with a better understanding of oysters and their role in keeping the Bay clean as well as what CBF is doing to restore the oyster stocks to save the Bay. Click here to register!

May 31

  • Easton, MD: Join us for a screening of High Tide in Dorchester which explores the impacts of climate change on our coastal communities. A cash bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres are available and the filmmaker will speak following the screening. Click here to learn more and register!

June 2

  • Throughout Virginia: Join us for the 30th annual Clean the Bay Day! One of the largest volunteer efforts in Virginia, roughly 6,000 volunteers remove more than 100,000 pounds of harmful debris from Virginia's waterways and shorelines. With sites all across the Commonwealth, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Click here to learn more and register!
  • Annapolis, MD: Join us out on the water for a morning of fishing, learning, and fun! Spend the morning aboard the Marguerite in search of whatever is biting! Our experienced crew will provide all the knowledge and equipment necessary—just bring your enthusiasm! Click here to register!
  • Annapolis, MD: Come on board for a sail on our historic skipjack the Stanley Norman. While aboard, you'll be invited to help hoist the sails or simply enjoy the view! You will leave with a better understanding of oysters and their role in keeping the Bay clean as well as what CBF is doing to restore the oyster stocks to save the Bay. Click here to register!
  • Columbia, PA: High school students from across the Keystone State team up in pairs of two and put their canoeing skills to the test against other high school teams. This year's event will be part of the Riverlands Trail Festival and Lancaster Water Week. In addition to the canoeing competition, there will be educational exhibits, live music, and an awards ceremony. Click here to register!

Drew Robinson 90x110

Drew Robinson

Digital Advocacy and Outreach Manager, CBF

drobinson@cbf.org

Issues in this Post

Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint   Bay Grasses   Blue Crabs   Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint   Events   Restore   Water Quality   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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