Happy Earth Day! As we have said many times, we believe that every day ought to be Earth Day. This spring tradition reminds us of the amazing benefits we all receive from a healthy environment. In the Chesapeake Bay, these include plentiful recreational opportunities, prodigious economic benefits, and undeniable cultural contributions. The true spirit of Earth Day, however, is found in its origins as the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.
In 1970, despite America experiencing environmental crises around the country, environmentalism was widely regarded as a fringe movement. Speaking of the reason for Earth Day, Nelson said, "The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy...and finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda." Nelson's efforts made an indelible impact, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was established eight months after the first Earth Day.
Earth Day should inspire not only feelings of gratitude for the benefits we receive from nature but move us to take action for protecting our environment. In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, there are numerous ways to get involved in protecting this true national treasure, and celebrate Earth Day every day. Join us in our work to Save the Bay!
This Week in the Watershed: A Gubernatorial Visit, Learning Outside, and Sick Bass
- Virginia Governor McAuliffe visited CBF's Brock Environmental Center Thursday, exploring one of the greenest buildings in the world. (Virginian-Pilot--VA)
- The Washington metro region has seen a dramatic rise in the amount of impervious surfaces over the past three decades. (WAMU--DC)
- CBF got a helping hand from a group of Pennsylvania students who got their hands dirty sorting through tree seedlings for an upcoming planting. (Public Opinion Online)
- We love this op-ed which effectively discusses the intersection between farmland, sprawling development, and the health of the Chesapeake Bay. (Bay Journal News Service)
- Pennsylvania students enjoyed learning outside as part of CBF's Susquehanna Watershed Education Program. (York Dispatch--PA)
- A new report released by the Chesapeake Bay Program reveals that while the Bay states are making progress towards cleanup goals, the region as a whole is far off pace needed to meet the 2017 milestone goals. (Bay Journal)
- The first-ever Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week will be celebrated June 4-12 throughout the main Bay states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. (Lancaster Farming--PA)
- Members of the public, legislators, and interest groups gathered in York County to discuss the importance of clean water in their streams and rivers. (York Dispatch--PA)
- The case for declaring the lower Susquehanna River impaired is quite compelling when considering the health of the smallmouth bass population. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette--PA)
What's Happening Around the Watershed?
- Monkton, MD: Help CBF plant 1,200 trees to restore six acres of forest on this new farm. The Little Gunpowder is a natural reproducing trout stream, and the restoration of this farm will help protect this cold water fishery. No tree planting experience is necessary, and all materials and supplies are provided. Families and children are welcome.
- Church Hill, MD: Come paddle with us on the Blackwater River in Dorchester County, Maryland. Blackwater River is a prime example of a healthy tidal Eastern Shore river, replete with large expanses of tidal marsh and pine forests. The wildlife is dominated by various species of bird life, including nesting bald eagles, ospreys, herons, and ducks. The paddle is comfortable and peaceful, offering up-close views of herons fishing in the shallows and ducks nesting in the many trees along the banks. All canoes and paddling equipment will be provided. Children ages 10 and up are welcome to register, but must be accompanied by an adult. This is a paddle for people of all skill levels.
- Annapolis, MD: Check out the 2016 Earth-Water-Faith Festival--a fun, family-friendly, interactive, interfaith celebration of Earth Day. Enjoy live music from Third Sunday Band, The Harmonic Fifth, and The All Children's Chorus of Annapolis, as well as activities including a "Scales and Tales" animal program, an oyster water-filtering display, kids' T-shirt printing, and celebratory readings. Free and open to the public! Click here for more information!
- Baltimore, MD: Join CBF at its 3rd Annual Baltimore Members Meeting! With trash ubiquitous in the streets and waters of Baltimore, the focus of this year's meeting is the trash epidemic, its connection to clean water, and some potential solutions. Special guest Julie Lawson, Executive Director of Trash Free Maryland, will talk about current efforts to reduce trash and waste through social marketing, good policy, and more. Food, beverages, and music included. Registration closes Tuesday, April 26 at 3:00 p.m.
- Richmond, VA: Come on out for a Speakers Bureau training with CBF! With far more requests for speakers than we have staff or time, CBF relies on its Speakers Bureau volunteers to handle a variety of speaking opportunities. Whether you are current on the issues and ready to share our message, or just enjoy public speaking and would like to get trained, we welcome your commitment to this important and high-profile program. Join us to learn the facts and skills to share our mission to Save the Bay with local groups and organizations. We simply cannot do it alone!
- Annapolis, MD: Join CBF for our spring "Save the Bay Breakfast" to learn about some simple things you can do to "Save the Bay at home," and to dive deeper into Bay-friendly landscaping and gardening with the smart, helpful experts from the Anne Arundel County Master Gardeners' "Bay-Wise" program team.
--Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate