This Week in the Watershed: Living with a Smoker

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Higher rates of asthma, increased chances of lung cancer, chronic bronchitis. These are just a few of the health impacts caused by the long-term breathing of fine particulate matter. One such source of this pollution is the Wheelabrator trash incinerator in south Baltimore.

As a report commissioned by CBF found in December, living near Wheelabrator is like living with a smoker, at least for some children, senior citizens, and others with sensitive lungs. But the harm caused by the plant stretches into other states as well, causing $55 million annually in health problems.

And the pollution from Wheelabrator is harmful not only to public health, but also water quality. In 2016, the plant produced about 1,100 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx). This NOx settles into the waters of the Bay, or is washed there in storms, NOx and other forms of nitrogen trigger a chain reaction of algae growth, oxygen depletion, fish kills, and dead zones.

Last week, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) proposed changes that would cut Wheelabrator's emissions by almost 200 tons a year, or roughly one fifth. While this is a great step in the right direction, MDE needs to conduct a longer-term feasibility study on emissions reductions at the incinerator, considering human health and environmental impacts to guide future limits.

We will continue to fight for less emissions from Wheelabrator and clean water throughout the watershed, knowing that with the full implementation of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, our economy and environment will prosper, lifestyles will improve, and perhaps most importantly, lives will be saved.

This Week in the Watershed: Pipeline Pause, Runoff Unity, and Burning Trash

  • Local and state legislators from Virginia joined CBF for a trip on the Potomac River, learning how their decisions influence the health of the Bay. (Bay Journal)
  • The cleanup of Baltimore's Sparrows Point, a former steel mill that left a legacy of rampant pollution, is making progress. But CBF and others still have concerns. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
  • Communities on Maryland's Eastern Shore are uniting to share resources and ideas to reduce polluted runoff. (Bay Journal)
  • Construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has halted, as a federal appeals court put a hold on permits to allow construction through the George Washington and Monongahela national forests. (Richmond Times Dispatch—VA)
  • The controversial development of Fones Cliffs, often called the jewel of the Rappahannock, is now under review by the Virginia Attorney General's office. (Free Lance Star—VA)
  • A trash-burning incinerator in South Baltimore is a source of controversy for its air pollution, which many local residents cite as the cause for public health issues. (Baltimore Fishbowl—MD)

What's Happening Around the Watershed?

September 28-29

  • Virginia Beach, VA: Join us for our 8th Annual Clean Water Captains' workshop. This annual training provides Captains and prospective Captains the most up-to-date, actionable science and policy information available. The training also provides opportunities for networking, on-the-water experiences with CBF educators, and bird watching at the Brock Environmental Center. Learn more and register here!

September 29

  • Easton, 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. Register here!
  • Wachapreague, VA: Join us for the first annual Clamboree—a wonderful night of all-you-can-eat clams, live music, crab cake dinner, oysters on the half shell, and stunning views all supporting the important work of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in our community. Get your tickets here!

September 30

  • 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. Register here!

October 4

  • Easton, MD: Join us for our Chesapeake Book Club, diving into an environmental classic—William Warner's Beautiful Swimmers. This Pulitzer Prize winning book explores the ecological importance of the Chesapeake's blue crabs and takes a closer look at the lives and culture of the watermen who depend on them. Register here!
  • Cambridge, MD: As more local oyster farms are producing oysters, join us to indulge in some this beloved bivalve and learn more about this growing industry from a local oyster farmer. Learn more and register here!

October 6

  • Baltimore, MD: Join us and the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore for the 5th season of the Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership. Build oyster gardening cages, learn about oysters and their role in the Baltimore Harbor and Chesapeake Bay, and help us settle about 50,000 baby oysters into their "homes" off the Downtown Sailing Center pier. Register here!
  • Carroll County, MD: Help plant approximately six acres of riparian forest buffer along a stream to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. Suitable for adults, families, and community groups, this event is rain or shine. Register here!

October 8

  • Norfolk, VA: Celebrate the Lafayette River becoming the first tributary in Virginia to meet Chesapeake Bay Program oyster restoration goals. Join the official flotilla in planting oysters to complete the most recently expanded Lafayette sanctuary reef. Learn more and register here!
  • Wye Mills, MD: Join us for a Queen Anne's County Board of Commissioners Candidate Forum, a great opportunity to hear from the candidates about their vision for the future of Queen Anne's County and their ideas for overcoming the environmental challenges facing our communities. Attendees will also have the chance to submit questions to be asked during the forum. Register here!

October 9

  • Centreville, MD: Join us for our most in-depth adult education program available to our members and the public. VoiCeS, which stands for Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, is a program to reach out to local volunteers and their communities to create a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. The Queen Anne's County VoiCeS class is a six-week course meeting on Tuesdays, starting October 9. Learn more and register here!
  • Annapolis, MD: As more local oyster farms are producing oysters, join us to indulge in some this beloved bivalve and learn more about this growing industry from a local oyster farmer. Learn more and register here!

October 10

  • Baltimore, MD: Join us for our most in-depth adult education program available to our members and the public. VoiCeS, which stands for Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, is a program to reach out to local volunteers and their communities to create a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. The Baltimore City VoiCeS class is a six-week course meeting on Wednesdays, starting October 10. Learn more and register here!

October 11

  • Verona, VA: Join us for our most in-depth adult education program available to our members and the public. VoiCeS, which stands for Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, is a program to reach out to local volunteers and their communities to create a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. The Shenandoah Valley VoiCeS class is a six-week course meeting on Thursdays, starting October 11. Learn more and register here!
  • Prince Frederick, MD: Join us for our most in-depth adult education program available to our members and the public. VoiCeS, which stands for Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, is a program to reach out to local volunteers and their communities to create a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. The Calvert County VoiCeS class is a six-week course meeting on Thursdays, starting October 11. Learn more and register here!
  • Towson, MD: Join us for a Baltimore County Executive Candidate Forum, a great opportunity to hear from the candidates about their vision for the future of Baltimore County and their ideas for overcoming the environmental challenges facing our communities. Attendees will also have the chance to submit questions to be asked during the forum. Register here!

October 13

  • 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. Register here!

October 15

  • Virginia Beach, VA: Join us for a Second Congressional District Candidate Forum on the Forum. The only free forum for Second District candidates, this is a great opportunity to hear from the candidates about their vision for the future of local waterways and their ideas for overcoming the environmental challenges facing our communities. Attendees will also have the chance to submit questions to be asked during the forum. Register here!

October 16

  • Hopewell, VA: Join us for a walking tour in an urban forest during peak fall leaf season! You'll learn how to ID trees by their leaves, shape, and bark, as well as learn which ones are native and provide habitat for wildlife. You'll also learn the environmental benefits an urban forest provides and how a daily walk in the woods can improve physical and mental health. Register here!

October 20

  • 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. Register here!

October 21

  • Upper Marlboro, MD: Join us for a fun-filled afternoon with friends, live music, craft-brewed beers, and mouth-watering food created by area chefs using local ingredients at CBF's Burgers and Brews for the Bay. A family friendly event, it features live bluegrass music, hay rides, fish printing, and educational stations. Get your tickets!

October 24

  • Virginia Beach, VA: CBF is proud to present the Hampton Roads premiere of National Geographic photographer James Balog's documentary The Human Element. From the producers of Chasing Ice, The Cove, and Racing Extinction, this new film highlights the dangers of the elements including air, earth, fire, water, and the fifth element—human impact. Immediately following the viewing, a community conversation on sea-level rise and climate change will take place with James Balog and CBF President Will Baker. This is a free event, but registration is required. Register here!
Drew Robinson 90x110

Drew Robinson

Digital Advocacy and Outreach Manager, CBF

drobinson@cbf.org

Issues in this Post

Air Pollution   Air Pollution   Events   Restore   Maryland Petitions EPA to Stop Upwind Ozone Pollution   Water Quality   What We Have to Lose   Wheelabrator Incinerator   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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