At the dawn of every new year, shortly after the ball drops and the confetti is swept away, our Bay saving efforts kick into another gear. With the new year comes the start of legislative sessions in Maryland and Virginia, and its continuation in Pennsylvania. And this year perhaps more than ever, legislative sessions are moving at a flying pace.
Four weeks into Maryland and Virginia's session, and three weeks into Pennsylvania's, there is a wide array of legislation CBF is actively working to support or oppose that have major impacts on local water quality and the Chesapeake Bay.
Up north in the Bay's watershed, the Pennsylvania team is busy on legislation such as designating the Eastern hellbender the official amphibian of the Keystone State, setting lawn fertilizer application rates, and improving the management plans of localities to reduce polluted runoff.
In Maryland, the priority legislation for CBF is the Forest Conservation Act (FCA)–House Bill 766 (Healey) and Senate Bill 610 (Young). This critical bill ensures the protection of Maryland's most ecologically valuable forests. Marylanders can support forest conservation in the Old Line state through our action alert. We also are hosting a "Rally Your Reps" Day on February 20, where citizens can speak for the forests directly with their legislators.
Other clean water priorities include monitoring air emissions from Concentrated Animal Farming Operations, banning dangerous pesticides, and increased investments in agricultural cost share programs.
Last, but certainly not least, Virginia's General Assembly is moving full steam ahead. The recurring theme to our work of "Keep Virginia's momentum toward a restored Bay by 2025" has us working on a great breadth of issues. This long list includes supporting and opposing several bills related to polluted runoff, pushing for increased tree cover in communities, maintaining environmental standards for septic systems, and fighting for proper management of the critical menhadenfishery.
While our work in the halls of the state capitols moves at a flurrying pace, we would have no impact without the voice and support of our members. Collected together, we speak for the Bay. We can't do this without you! Stay tuned for further updates on how you can get involved as our work to save the Bay and its rivers and streams continues.
Issues in this Post
Advocate Air Pollution Atlantic Menhaden Bay Grasses Blue Crabs Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint Conservation Fisheries Insecticides: Chlorpyrifos Politics Runoff Pollution Virginia's Stormwater Local Assistance Fund Water Quality CBF in Maryland CBF in Virginia Eastern Shore Office Maryland Office, Annapolis Pennsylvania Office Virginia Office, Richmond