Right now, throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, trees are exploding with color. The beautiful foliage around every corner is just one of the many benefits trees provide. What's more, trees provide food and shelter for wildlife, filter pollution, provide cleaner air and cooler summer temperatures, increase property values, and reduce polluted runoff. Trees also help alleviate flooding through stabilizing the soil, and provide many other health, economic, and environmental benefits.
Despite all these benefits we're losing trees at an unsustainable rate. In Maryland, the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), a well-intentioned but inherently flawed law, is failing to conserve the state's forests. The 24-year old law has slowed some forest clearance, but in areas where development pressure is intense and forests are considerable, builders have cut down more than 40 percent of the forests, on average. Few, if any, acres are replanted.
But Marylanders have a chance to stand up for their forests. We're fighting to update and improve the FCA, before it's too late. Contact your state legislators and tell them how valuable trees are to our environment, economy, and way of life. Tell them we need more trees and ask them to update the Forest Conservation Act to protect our most ecologically valuable forests.
Not to fear for non-Marylanders–there are plenty of opportunities to take action for trees in your community. With 50 percent of the Bay's freshwater coming from Pennsylvania, join us in the spring and fall to plant forested buffers in the Keystone State. And after electing a new governor and many new legislators this week in Virginia, stay tuned for future opportunities to push for forest conservation in the Commonwealth.
If we are going to save the Bay and its rivers and streams, there's no better place to start than preserving and restoring our forests. Don't sit on the sidelines. Fight for your forests.
This Week in the Watershed: Elections, Buffers, and Budgets
- Virginia's elections resulted in Ralph Northam defeating Ed Gillespie in the race for Governor and Democrats picking up several seats in the House of Delegates. (Washington Post) BONUS: CBF Statement
- Harry Campbell, CBF's Pennsylvania Executive Director, writes on the importance of financial and technical assistance from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to cleaning the Keystone State's waterways. (PA Environment Digest)
- In Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, dozens of volunteers planted hundreds of trees, creating a buffer along a stream, capturing pollutants before they enter the waterway. (WHSV—VA)
- Pennsylvania recently passed a state budget, but did not provide any new funding for restoring its rivers and streams. (Bay Journal)
- CBF is offering a free ride to the ASMFC meeting in Baltimore where major decisions are on the docket for the menhaden fishery. There are two buses making stops in Virginia and Maryland's Eastern Shore. (Star Democrat—MD and Daily Press—VA)
What's Happening Around the Watershed?
- Baltimore, MD: The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is gathering to review public comments and take a final vote on the future of the menhaden fishery. Join whale watchers, charter boat captains, bait fisherman, sport fisherman, scientists, bird enthusiasts, students, conversation advocates, and Bay lovers for this historic vote. Arrive early and join us in the "Bunker Room" for lunch, gear demos, giveaways, and more! Need a ride? We have you covered. We have two free buses, one in Virginia, and one on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Click here for more information.
- Everywhere: Mark your calendars for Giving Tuesday, a global movement dedicated to giving back. Stay tuned for details on how you can give to help save the Bay and its rivers and streams!
Issues in this Post
Land Use Advocate Community Conservation Events Land Use 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