This Week in the Watershed: Keep the Cap!


Commercial fishing boats pull up a net chock-full of menhaden.

John Surrick/CBF Staff

Ospreys soaring through the sky, dolphins jumping through the water, and rockfish on your dinner plate. What do these all have in common? Each critter relies on menhaden as a critical part of their diet. But despite the crucial role menhaden plays in the Bay's food chain, the future of these essential forage fish is often thrown into jeopardy.

This past November, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) passed several management changes to menhaden, including the important step of reducing the Chesapeake Bay fishery cap from 87,216 metric tons to 51,000 metric tons. With the Bay cap motion passing with a clear consensus, by a margin of 14-2, this was a significant win for menhaden and the entire Chesapeake ecosystem, as the Bay is the most important nursery for menhaden on the East Coast.

But now Virginia has appealed the November decision and this important win is under direct threat. On February 7, the Commission will consider Virginia's appeal and decide if they will uphold the November decision to reduce the Bay cap. The ASMFC needs to hear from you!

Take action and urge the ASMFC Commissioners—before the February 7 deadline—to stand up for menhaden and support the Commission's November decision to reduce the Chesapeake Bay cap. The future of the menhaden fishery and all the critical species that depend on it are at risk.

This Week in the Watershed: Bunker Battle, Poultry Permits, and a Bridge Debate

  • The future of the Atlantic menhaden is in jeopardy again, writes CBF's Senior Naturalist John Page Williams. (Sportfishing Magazine)
  • Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring joined a growing coalition of other attorneys general protesting offshore drilling. (Daily Press—VA)
  • The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality held a permit hearing on Virginia's Eastern Shore, as three chicken farms were found polluting local waterways. (Daily Times—MD)
  • Rampant dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico have those in the Midwest looking to the Bay's Clean Water Blueprint. (Daily Beast)
  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt delivered testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, addressing his rolling back of environmental protections in the federal Clean Water and Clean Air acts. (CBF Statement)
  • Proposed legislation in Maryland will provide financial assistance to septic system owners. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
  • Two thumbs up to this editorial calling for stronger oversight of the Fones Cliffs development. (Free Lance-Star—VA)
  • Debates over a new bridge span across the Chesapeake Bay are eliciting passionate opinions. (Daily Times—MD)

What's Happening Around the Watershed?

January 25-February 3

  • Throughout Virginia: Help restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia's rivers by participating in CBF's Grasses for the Masses program. Participants grow wild celery, a type of underwater grass, in their homes for 10-12 weeks. After 10-12 weeks of grow-out, participants will gather to plant their grasses in select local rivers to bolster grass populations and help restore the Bay. With workshops held throughout Virginia, there's plenty of opportunity to get involved. Click here to find one near you!

February 20

  • Annapolis, MD: Join us for our FCA Rally Your Reps Day, where we'll advocate for a stronger Forest Conservation Act (FCA) in Maryland! Join us for breakfast in the House of Delegate Building, get a legislative update from CBF staff, and meet with your legislators to urge them to support this important legislation. Click here for more information and to register!
  • Baltimore, MD: Waterfront Partnership and CBF's film series, "Docs from the Docks" continues, showing "A Plastic Ocean." This adventure documentary features an international team of scientists and researchers traveling all over the world to explore the fragile state of our oceans and uncovering alarming truths about plastic pollution. Click here to register!
Drew Robinson 90x110

Drew Robinson

Former Digital Advocacy and Outreach Manager, CBF

Issues in this Post

Fisheries   Advocacy   Atlantic Menhaden   Conservation   Fisheries   Fishing   Politics   Striped Bass (Rockfish)   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  


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