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:
- Back the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.
Provide leadership that motivates and provides necessary resources to communities and businesses 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.
- Support clean agriculture.
Fully fund existing 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. Support the development and funding of a new cost-share program in Pennsylvania.
- Invest in filters.
Move efforts forward to bring more filters to the watershed through investments in oyster restoration and tree plantings.
- Stop pollution to waterways.
Support funding measures and effective requirements for reducing flooding in our communities and stopping polluted runoff at its source. Support open space, wildlife corridors, green stormwater infrastructure, adequate funding for land conservation and forest conservation laws. Reduce pollution in our rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay while protecting infrastructure and creating habitat for fish and wildlife.
- Grow smart.
Adopt comprehensive plans, zoning, and site development rules that protect forests, open space, and water resources and manage stormwater responsibly; invest in existing communities and ensure clean air and clean water for all; and improve resiliency, adapting for and mitigating the effects of climate change and sea level rise.
The current pandemic has changed the way many states will be voting. Head to vote411.org 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.
As Election Day draws closer, we encourage you to keep these proven and cost-effective actions to help make our waters clean and healthy in mind. Join us in pledging to vote for the Bay.
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.