When Virginia's General Assembly adjourned in March, there was one item unresolved. There was deadlock on the state budget. But following a lengthy special session, it's clear there is something legislators all agree on: clean water.
Yesterday, Governor Northam signed a budget for the Commonwealth for the next two fiscal years, sent to him by the General Assembly, that includes critical investments for clean water programs. These programs include funding for Virginia's longstanding agricultural cost-share program which supports farm conservation practices that benefit the local economy and local streams. Legislators also funded the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund which helps cities and counties reduce polluted runoff, one of Virginia's biggest remaining challenges to clean water.
And perhaps the biggest win from this budget is that for the first time the General Assembly has invested in oyster restoration to build sanctuary reefs, while continuing support for oyster replenishment to boost harvests by hardworking watermen. This will increase the oyster population as the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance works to add 10 billion new oysters to the Bay by 2025.
This consensus on clean water was also reflected in yet another successful Clean the Bay Day, when thousands of volunteers, including dozens of legislators from both sides of the aisle, picked up more than 100,000 pounds of trash throughout the Old Dominion. Virginians, take a moment to thank your representatives and Governor Northam for their support for clean water.
This Week in the Watershed: Home-Grown Oysters, EIBs, and a Successful Cleaning
- The Keystone State needs to pick up the pace in its efforts to improve local water quality, writes CBF's Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell. (Patriot News–PA)
- Following the EPA's decision not to force power plants from Pennsylvania to Indiana to tighten pollution controls, Maryland officials and CBF are considering litigation. (Baltimore Sun–MD)
- Local residents planted thousands of home-grown oysters in Virginia's Lafayette River. (WVEC–VA)
- The awards keep rolling in for CBF's Brock Environmental Center, recognized as one of the greenest buildings in the world. (U.S. Green Building Council)
- A Virginia Beach family continued an annual tradition of attending Clean the Bay Day to honor a fallen brother, son, and friend. (Virginian Pilot–VA)
- Environmental Impact Bonds, a new approach to generate green infrastructure, are beginning to spread throughout cities in the Bay watershed. (Medium)
- There's an ongoing debate that a landslide at the treasured Fones Cliffs on Virginia's Rappahannock River was caused by developers illegally clearing a large strip of trees. (Bay Journal)
- Saturday marked another successful Clean the Bay Day, as more than 6,000 volunteers throughout Virginia, including Governor Ralph Northam, picked up 128,817 pounds of litter. (Daily Times–VA) BONUS: CBF Press Release
What's Happening Around the Watershed?
- Hopewell, VA: Join us for the first of three Gardening for Life Workshops. This workshop will focus on unlocking the secret of soils, with featured speaker Dr. Leonard Githinji, Virginia Cooperative Extension Specialist, Sustainable & Urban Agriculture. Register here!
- Talbot County, MD: Hit the water and join us for a paddle on Harris Creek. Witness the abundant wildlife and beautiful expanses of tidal marsh and learn about the site of the largest oyster restoration project in the United States. Register here!
- Easton, MD: Come on out to the first event in the Clean Water Concert Series featuring the U.S. Navy Band Country Current. All concerts are free and open to the public. Learn more here!
- Hopewell, VA: Join us for the second of three Gardening for Life Workshops. This workshop will focus on gardening in small spaces, learning how to make the most of your space when gardening. Register here!
- Virginia Beach, VA: Kick off the summer right and join us at our summer solstice sunset party. Enjoy a happy hour, live music, and oysters galore with a beautiful view at CBF's Brock Environmental Center. Register here!
- Easton, MD: Come on out to the second event in the Clean Water Concert Series featuring Cantare, music from Central and South America. All concerts are free and open to the public. Learn more here!
- Virginia Beach, VA: Join us to explore the fascinating history and origins of America that happened on and around the Chesapeake Bay as part of the second installment of the Brock Environmental Center Learning Series. Register here!
- Hopewell, VA: Join us for the third of three Gardening for Life Workshops. This workshop will teach you how to create a fruit orchard in your own backyard. Register here!
- Easton, MD: Come on out to the final event in the Clean Water Concert Series featuring the XPDs, playing Motown, R&B, and your favorite pop hits. All concerts are free and open to the public. Learn more here!
Issues in this Post
Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint Restore Virginia's Agricultural Cost-Share Program Virginia's Path to Clean Water Virginia's Stormwater Local Assistance Fund 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