Vote for the Bay!

bald eagle

A large bald eagle grabbing a fish on the James River.

Barbara Houston Bash

Information and resources for voting in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

To save the Bay, participation in our democracy is critical. While candidates are running for elected office, we need to urge them to support policies friendly to clean water.

Across the watershed, communities are working hard to reduce pollution from runoff, sewage, and agriculture. But while gains have been made, the recovery is fragile. The Bay and its rivers and streams still have a long way to go to be healthy.

Fortunately, we know what must be done to clean our waterways. The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and individual state Blueprints for Clean Water outline what needs to be done to achieve a restored Bay by 2025. Elected officials and candidates for elected office should commit to these proven and cost-effective actions to help make our waters clean and healthy:

  1. Stop polluted runoff.
    Support funding measures that reduce flooding in our communities and stop polluted runoff at its source. Support open space, wildlife corridors, adequate funding for land conservation and, in states that have them, strong forest conservation laws. Reduce pollution in our rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay while protecting infrastructure and creating habitat for fish and wildlife.
  2. Support clean agriculture.
    Fully fund cost-share and technical assistance programs so that farmers can continue to adopt conservation practices that are good for water quality, their farms, and their livestock.
  3. Invest in filters.
    Move efforts forward to bring more filters to the watershed through investments in oyster restoration and tree plantings.
  4. Grow smart.
    Adopt comprehensive plans, zoning, and site development rules that protect forests, open space, and water resources; invest in existing communities; and improve resiliency, adapting for and mitigating the effects of sea level rise.
  5. Back the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.
    Provide leadership that motivates communities to finish the job of restoring the Bay and the rivers and streams which feed it. Publicly report actions taken and insist on transparent and verifiable results.

The current pandemic has changed the way many states will be voting. Head to to find resources for all the logistics surrounding voting—including voter registration, election rules, and finding your polling place. The link will open in a new window.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, not- for- profit, charitable organization.  As such we may not, and we do not coordinate with, support, or oppose any candidates for public office or political party. All the links provided above are public information available on state-sponsored government websites.

The Bay Needs You

The 2018 State of the Bay Report makes it clear that the Bay needs our support now more than ever. Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

Donate Today


Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or helping in our offices, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

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