The work to save the Bay and its rivers and streams is not without challenges. And in 2018, one of the greatest challenges came from above—rain, and lots of it. This extraordinary weather was a massive assault on the Bay, flushing enormous amounts of pollution—mostly from Pennsylvania, but also from other regions—off our lands and into the Bay. As a result, our State of the Bay report released this week fell one point to a 33, equivalent to a D+.
Despite this setback, there is heartening evidence that the Bay is showing signs of resiliency. Bay grasses remain intact and recent studies indicate an improving trend in underwater dead zones over the long term. This success supports the expert opinion that thanks to the science-based Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the Bay has been improving. But as this year's State of the Bay report shows, progress is never a straight line.
Rain isn't the only challenge the Bay faces moving forward. The Trump administration's proposed rollback of fundamental environmental protections threatens progress, as does the future consequences from climate change. With the continued implementation of the Blueprint however, the line tracking the Bay's health might have some waves but will ultimately trend upward. We can achieve the greatest environmental success story the world has ever seen right here in our own backyard—but only if we continue to work together, follow the science, and enforce the Blueprint.
This week, the work to save the Bay continued with the commencement of legislative sessions in Maryland and Virginia. And with the Bay's fragile recovery and an array of clean water issues on the docket in both states, there is no more important time than now to fight for clean rivers, healthy streams, and a restored Chesapeake Bay. Learn more about our priorities here! — Maryland | Virginia
This Week in the Watershed: Bay Grades, Shutdowns, and Menhaden Madness
- Great news for Virginia farmers who received funding to implement rotational grazing on their farms, which helps improve soil health and local water quality.(Virginia Mercury—VA)
- Menhaden, a tiny but critical fish in the Bay's food chain, is under the spotlight for its controversial management and proposed sustainability certification. (WVTF—VA) TAKE ACTION: Urge the Marine Stewardship Council to reject the certification of menhaden as a sustainable fishery!
- A controversial compressor station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was approved by Virginia regulators, to the dismay of many environmentalists and social justice advocates. (Washington Post) BONUS: CBF Statement
- The health of the Bay is one of the many victims from the federal government shutdown. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
- Virginians can help save the Bay by growing underwater grasses as part of CBF's "Grasses for the Masses" program. (NBC 12—VA) BONUS: Learn more and register here!
- CBF released its biannual State of the Bay report card, finding that the Bay's health has decreased given the massive assault from extreme rainfall in 2018 and rollbacks of environmental regulations. (Washington Post) BONUS: CBF Press Release
What's Happening around the Watershed?
January 12-February 11
- 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. Find a workshop near you!
- Baltimore, MD: Join us for the first film in Docs on the Docks film series, featuring National Geographic photographer James Balog's documentary The Human Element. This film highlights the dangers of the elements, including air, earth, fire, water, and the fifth element—human impact. Immediately following the viewing, an expert panel will discuss the film and encourage participants to advocate for change in their communities, city, and watershed. Register here!
- Easton, MD: Join us for the second annual Oysters & Wine on the Shore. While sampling farmed oysters paired with complementary wines, get all your oyster questions answered by the policy experts, scientists, and oyster farmers themselves. And don't forget the authentic Smith Island cake paired with the perfect bubbly, Bay themed hors d'oeuvres, and live music. Get your tickets while they last!
- Easton, MD: Join us for the first event in our Angler's Night Out program series. Gather with anglers and fishing aficionados from around the Shore to watch fishing flicks, hear from experts and guides, and mingle with friends while enjoying food and drink specials. Learn more and register!
- Annapolis, MD: Come on out for an informative afternoon with the Maryland environmental community. Hear from advocates and elected officials about Maryland's environmental legislative priorities. Learn more here!
Issues in this Post
Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint Climate Change Conservation Events State of the Bay 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