This Week in the Watershed: 7 Tips for a Bay-Friendly Thanksgiving

autumn stream

An autumn morning in Woodstock, MD of a streams that feeds into the Patapsco River.

Wendy Crowe

It's hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner. As you prepare for the annual feast with family and friends, there are things you can do to help save the Bay and its rivers and streams. Consider these seven tips for a Bay-friendly holiday:

  1. Recycle oyster shells: Indulging in some of the Bay's delicious bivalves this Thanksgiving? Don't forget to recycle your oyster shells! Each year, we return 2,000 bushels of recycled oyster shells to the Bay, thereby creating habitat for millions of oysters. But oyster shells are becoming increasingly scarce. Drop off your oyster shells at a variety of locations in Maryland or Virginia.
  2. Remind family and friends to save the Bay on Giving Tuesday: On Tuesday, November 27, we have set our most ambitious one-day fundraising goal EVER: $30,000 in 24 hours—all to ensure the Bay is restored and thrives for generations to come. We're going to need a massive groundswell of support to meet our goal, so spread the word! And you can take an extra step by creating your own Facebook fundraiser for CBF. What's more, all gifts made on Giving Tuesday through your personal Facebook fundraiser will be matched—making twice the impact for the Bay and your community.
  3. Buy local: When preparing your meal, consider buying local ingredients. With most foods traveling 1,300 miles before they get to your plate, locally-grown food minimizes transportation-related emissions. Furthermore, buying home-grown food is good for the local economy.
  4. Connect with the resource: Before the inevitable arrival of your turkey coma, bundle up and get outside on the Bay and its rivers and streams. There are countless places to explore that will inspire an even greater appreciation for this national treasure.
  5. Mow your leaves: Put away your rake and leaf blower and instead use your lawn mower to chop up leaves. This provides a great fertilizer to your grass, and it benefits soil health, which is always good for clean water.
  6. Remember your political talking points: Most people cringe when they think of politics entering the conversation around the Thanksgiving dinner table. And this is especially true in today's increasingly partisan atmosphere. But clean water is a nonpartisan issue. Republicans and Democrats of all stripes recognize the value of a healthy Chesapeake Bay. So, if political debates arise, try pivoting to the value of clean water and the wide bipartisan support for the Bay cleanup.
  7. Take the test: We all have an individual impact on our environment, and that includes the Bay and its rivers and streams. Nitrogen, one of the largest pollutants in the Bay, is a major cause of dead zones. Learn your Bay Footprint and get your nitrogen grade. Share the calculator with family and friends.

This year we have a lot for which to give thanks and celebrate. In 2018, we planted 35 million oysters, taught 33,600 students and teachers in the world's best outdoor classroom, and planted 16 miles of stream buffers. All these things were made possible only through your commitment to clean water. We're so grateful!

And thanks to these efforts and the implementation of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, all around us we're beginning to see signs of the Bay healing: water clarity is improving, Bay grasses are booming, and dead zones are shrinking. But there is still so much more to do.

Join us this Thanksgiving and holiday season for the next chapter in Bay saving. With your dedication, passion, and generosity, we can leave a legacy of clean water to future generations.

This Week in the Watershed: Nature Tools, Diving Birds, and Coal Ash Battles

  • With coastal communities throughout Virginia already experiencing the impacts of sea level rise, the Old Dominion is ramping up efforts to address the rising waters. (Revelator—VA)
  • CBF Maryland Executive Director Alison Prost writes on the status of the Bay clean-up efforts and the future of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. (Star Democrat—MD)
  • A newly released report from NOAA finds that warmer winters rather than overfishing have depleted Bay oyster populations in recent decades. But the report is getting pushback from some scientists. (Bay Journal)
  • CBF Senior Naturalist John Page Williams writes on the magnificent gannet, a migratory bird that provides birdwatchers in the Bay region quite a show of its fishing prowess in the fall. (Chesapeake Bay Magazine)
  • CBF is teaming up with Baltimore City to use an innovative new tool, Environmental Impact Bonds, to address the city's onslaught of polluted runoff. (Green Diary)
  • Nature provides the greatest tools to address flooding, writes CBF Board of Trustees Chairman Harry Lester. (Virginian Pilot—VA)

November 17

  • Hopewell, VA: Join us for a fall tree planting at the newly restored Woodlawn Park. Register here!
  • Baltimore, MD: Join CBF in caring for the next generation of Bay oysters by cleaning oyster cages in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Register here!

November 27

  • 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!
  • Alexandria, 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 Northern Virginia VoiCeS class is an intensive multi-week course meeting on weekday evenings: Nov 27, 28, and Dec 4, 6, 11, and 12. Learn more and register here!

December 6

  • Easton, MD: Join us for our Chesapeake Book Club, reading Tom Hortons' An Island Out of Time: A Memoir of Smith Island in the Chesapeake. Learn more and register here!

December 8

  • Hopewell, VA: Help CBF and Hopewell Recreation and Parks to free Heritage Gardens park from invasive kudzu. This pesky plant has taken over a significant portion of the park and smothers native plants, preventing them from receiving sunlight. All tools are provided, as well as snacks. Register here!
Drew Robinson 90x110

Drew Robinson

Former Digital Advocacy and Outreach Manager, CBF

Issues in this Post

Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint   Agriculture   Community   Eastern Oysters   Food and Drink   Fun   Politics   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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