This Week in the Watershed: Breathe Easy?

Duke Energy's Gibson Power Station - BlairPhotoEVV - 695x352

Most understand that how we treat the land has a direct correlation to the health of our waterways. Implementing best management practices on farms, reducing urban and suburban polluted runoff, and upgrading wastewater treatment plants are all critical to protecting and restoring our waterways. But often overlooked is the major impact air pollution has on water quality.

Each year, more than 85 million pounds of nitrogen pollution—about one-third of the Bay's total yearly load—comes from air pollution. And this excess nitrogen contributes to algal blooms, often creating dead zones in the Bay that cannot support underwater grasses, crabs, fish, and other marine life. Moreover, air pollution, primarily from power plants, is also the main source of the mercury that contaminates fish in the Bay watershed.

While the damage caused by air pollution is undeniable, addressing this pollution is incredibly challenging given the vast size of the Chesapeake Bay "airshed." At 570,000-square-miles, stretching from North Carolina to Canada and as far west as central Indiana, the airshed is more than nine times the size of the watershed. And throughout the airshed, power plants are the primary source of pollution, particularly coal-burning power plants.

Which is why we are dismayed that the EPA abdicated its responsibility under the Clean Air Act by denying petitions requesting 19 coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky to reduce air pollution that travels across state lines. These emissions harm not only our water quality, but also makes it difficult for us to breathe, especially children and seniors.

Despite this failure by the EPA, we will continue the fight to address these upwind pollution sources. Stay tuned for updates on how you can help.

This Week in the Watershed: Chlorophyll Consequences, Sinister Snakeheads, and Florence Aftermath

  • The campaign to designate the Eastern hellbender Pennsylvania's official state amphibian continues, highlighting how hellbenders are a natural indicator of superior water quality. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette—PA)
  • Scientists are using several tools at their disposal to learn exactly where Maryland blue crabs originate. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
  • A Richmond church's urban garden, spearheaded by CBF to reduce polluted runoff, received a visit from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, as he highlighted the importance of urban agriculture. (WAVY—VA)
  • Hurricane Florence has moved on, but the high waters it caused are still a threat to the Bay. (Capital Gazette—MD)
  • Snakeheads, an invasive species with a voracious appetite, are spreading throughout the watershed to the alarm of conservation biologists. (Bay Journal)
  • Bad news for the Bay and anyone who breathes in the Chesapeake Bay airshed, as the EPA denied petitions by Delaware and Maryland to force upwind coal-burning power plants to reduce their pollution output. (EcoWatch) BONUS: CBF Press Release
  • CBF's Virginia Executive Director Rebecca Tomazin writes on the need to update Virginia's chlorophyll standards to reduce the threat from harmful algal blooms. (Richmond Times Dispatch—VA)
  • Kudos to 16-year-old Robert Campbell for earning his Eagle Scout by building more than 60 cages for oyster gardening. (Virginia Pilot—VA)

What's Happening Around the Watershed?

September 22

  • Eastern Shore, MD: Experience a wonderful impact oyster restoration is having on the Eastern Shore–more fish! Join us for our Rod and Reef Slam Fishing Tournament, competing to catch (and release!) the largest number of fish species on three restored oyster reefs: the Tilghman Reef just outside Knapps Narrows, the Harris Creek reefs, and the Cook's Point reef ball field in the mouth of the Choptank. Don't fish? Register for the afterparty only and enjoy food, entertainment, a cash bar, and loads of information about what restored oyster reefs mean for fish in the Bay. Learn more and register here!
  • Annapolis, MD: Come on board for a sail on our historic skipjack the Stanley Norman. While aboard, you'll be invited to help hoist the sails or simply enjoy the view! You will leave with a better understanding of oysters and their role in keeping the Bay clean as well as what CBF is doing to restore the oyster stocks to save the Bay. Register here!
  • Baltimore, MD: Join us and the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore for the 5th season of the Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership. Build oyster gardening cages, learn about oysters and their role in the Baltimore Harbor and Chesapeake Bay, and help us settle about 50,000 baby oysters into their "homes" off the Downtown Sailing Center pier. Register here!

September 27

  • Easton, MD: Join us for a Talbot County Council Candidate Forum on the Environment, a great opportunity to hear from the candidates about their vision for the future of Talbot County and their ideas for overcoming the environmental challenges facing our communities. Attendees will also have the chance to submit questions to be asked during the forum. Register here!
  • Annapolis, MD: Come on board for a sail on our historic skipjack the Stanley Norman. While aboard, you'll be invited to help hoist the sails or simply enjoy the view! You will leave with a better understanding of oysters and their role in keeping the Bay clean as well as what CBF is doing to restore the oyster stocks to save the Bay. Register here!

September 28-29

  • Virginia Beach, VA: Join us for our 8th Annual Clean Water Captains' workshop. This annual training provides Captains and prospective Captains the most up-to-date, actionable science and policy information available. The training also provides opportunities for networking, on-the-water experiences with CBF educators, and bird watching at the Brock Environmental Center. Learn more and register here!

September 29

  • Easton, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve—the mighty oyster! Join us for a new oyster gardener workshop to the supplies and training necessary to grow your own oysters. During the two-hour workshop, you will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for your oyster garden. You will also construct four oyster gardening cages that you will use to grow your oysters. Register here!
  • Wachapreague, VA: Join us for the first annual Clamboree—a wonderful night of all-you-can-eat clams, live music, crab cake dinner, oysters on the half shell, and stunning views all supporting the important work of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in our community. Get your tickets here!

September 30

  • Annapolis, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve—the mighty oyster! Join us for a new oyster gardener workshop to the supplies and training necessary to grow your own oysters. During the two-hour workshop, you will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for your oyster garden. You will also construct four oyster gardening cages that you will use to grow your oysters. Register here!

October 4

  • Easton, MD: Join us for our Chesapeake Book Club, diving into an environmental classic—William Warner's Beautiful Swimmers. This Pulitzer Prize winning book explores the ecological importance of the Chesapeake's blue crabs and takes a closer look at the lives and culture of the watermen who depend on them. Register here!
  • Cambridge, MD: As more local oyster farms are producing oysters, join us to indulge in some this beloved bivalve and learn more about this growing industry from a local oyster farmer. Learn more and register here!

October 6

  • Baltimore, MD: Join us and the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore for the 5th season of the Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership. Build oyster gardening cages, learn about oysters and their role in the Baltimore Harbor and Chesapeake Bay, and help us settle about 50,000 baby oysters into their "homes" off the Downtown Sailing Center pier. Register here!
  • Carroll County, MD: Help plant approximately six acres of riparian forest buffer along a stream to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. Suitable for adults, families, and community groups, this event is rain or shine. Register here!

October 8

  • Norfolk, VA: Celebrate the Lafayette River becoming the first tributary in Virginia to meet Chesapeake Bay Program oyster restoration goals. Join the official flotilla in planting oysters to complete the most recently expanded Lafayette sanctuary reef. Learn more and register here!

October 9

  • Centreville, MD: Join us for our most in-depth adult education program available to our members and the public. VoiCeS, which stands for Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, is a program to reach out to local volunteers and their communities to create a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. The Queen Anne's County VoiCeS class is a six-week course meeting on Tuesdays, starting October 9. Learn more and register here!
  • Annapolis, MD: As more local oyster farms are producing oysters, join us to indulge in some this beloved bivalve and learn more about this growing industry from a local oyster farmer. Learn more and register here!

October 10

  • Baltimore, MD: Join us for our most in-depth adult education program available to our members and the public. VoiCeS, which stands for Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, is a program to reach out to local volunteers and their communities to create a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. The Baltimore City VoiCeS class is a six-week course meeting on Wednesdays, starting October 10. Learn more and register here!

October 11

  • Verona, VA: Join us for our most in-depth adult education program available to our members and the public. VoiCeS, which stands for Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, is a program to reach out to local volunteers and their communities to create a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. The Shenandoah Valley VoiCeS class is a six-week course meeting on Thursdays, starting October 11. Learn more and register here!
  • Prince Frederick, MD: Join us for our most in-depth adult education program available to our members and the public. VoiCeS, which stands for Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, is a program to reach out to local volunteers and their communities to create a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. The Calvert County VoiCeS class is a six-week course meeting on Thursdays, starting October 11. Learn more and register here!

October 13

  • Shady Side, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve—the mighty oyster! Join us for a new oyster gardener workshop to the supplies and training necessary to grow your own oysters. During the two-hour workshop, you will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for your oyster garden. You will also construct four oyster gardening cages that you will use to grow your oysters. Register here!

October 20

  • Annapolis, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve—the mighty oyster! Join us for a new oyster gardener workshop to the supplies and training necessary to grow your own oysters. During the two-hour workshop, you will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for your oyster garden. You will also construct four oyster gardening cages that you will use to grow your oysters. Register here!

October 21

  • Upper Marlboro, MD: Join us for a fun-filled afternoon with friends, live music, craft-brewed beers, and mouth-watering food created by area chefs using local ingredients at CBF's Burgers and Brews for the Bay. A family friendly event, it features live bluegrass music, hay rides, fish printing, and educational stations. Get your tickets!

October 24

  • Virginia Beach, VA: CBF is proud to present the Hampton Roads premiere of National Geographic photographer James Balog's documentary The Human Element. From the producers of Chasing Ice, The Cove, and Racing Extinction, this new film highlights the dangers of the elements including air, earth, fire, water, and the fifth element—human impact. Immediately following the viewing, a community conversation on sea-level rise and climate change will take place with James Balog and CBF President Will Baker. This is a free event, but registration is required. Register here!
Drew Robinson 90x110

Drew Robinson

Digital Advocacy and Outreach Manager, CBF

drobinson@cbf.org
410-268-8816

Issues in this Post

Air Pollution   Air Pollution   Events   Restore   Stopping Upwind Air Pollution   Water Quality   What We Have to Lose   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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