This Month in the Watershed: A Climate for Change


David Hartcorn

October 2019

Walking down the hallway, I felt waves crash against the floorboards. Shortly afterwards, I heard CBF legend John Page Williams discuss the history of this place and point to water that was once land. Less than a year later, CBF's Fox Island Education Center is closing. Climate change might be a global problem, but we are feeling the impacts here at home.

Sunny day flooding is becoming the new normal in Bay communities like Virginia Beach and Annapolis. Weather extremes influenced by climate change are impacting water quality and wildlife. Just this month, drought is producing algae blooms in Virginia's James River, and 2018's excessive rainfall has decreased salinity to such a degree that oysters are struggling.

When addressing a problem on the scale of climate change, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and gravitate toward apathy. But just as climate change has local impacts, it also has local solutions. And many of these solutions help improve local water quality. In Maryland's Anne Arundel County, efforts are underway to pass strong forest conservation legislation. In Virginia's Hampton Roads, citizens raised their voices in mass opposing a resolution in support of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. And in communities like Hopewell, Virginia, individuals are coming together to plant trees, build rain gardens, and remove invasive species.

All these efforts combat climate change in different ways. And while the fate of Fox Island is sealed and sunny day flooding is here to stay, the status quo is unacceptable. Major shifts are necessary to address climate change, including changing the way we power our world and adjusting our patterns of consumption. But local changes on the ground are a key part of the equation. Future generations are relying on us. Let's get to work.

This Month in the Watershed: Fighting for Forests, Sunny Day Flooding, and a Sunsetting Legend

  • The owners and operators of the Conowingo Dam have agreed to pay $200 million for water quality restoration efforts, a figure questioned by environmental groups. (Washington Post) BONUS: CBF Statement
  • Menhaden, often called the most important fish in the sea, are under assault again. Virginia-based Omega Protein, the largest harvester of menhaden in the Bay, ignored the menhaden harvest cap and the interstate body managing fisheries regulations found Virginia out of compliance. (Virginian Pilot—VA) BONUS: CBF Statement
  • Sunny day flooding as a result of high tides is expected to become the norm in many Bay communities, including Annapolis. (Baltimore Sun—MD)
  • Formerly called the "Chemical Capital of the South," the community of Hopewell, Virginia is experiencing a rebirth. (Progress Index—VA)
  • After four decades of service, CBF is closing the legendary Fox Island Education Center due to rising sea levels. (The Weather Channel) BONUS: CBF Blog Series
  • A farmer's wife shares her experience of her trip on a small island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay with CBF and others from Pennsylvania's farming community. (Lancaster Farming—PA)
  • Leaders throughout Maryland shared their reflections on the powerful life of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings. (WTOP—MD) BONUS: CBF Statement
  • An innovative approach to oyster restoration is making waves throughout the Bay watershed. (Bay Journal)
  • Virginia's James River is seeing large algae blooms, which experts blame on the recent drought. (Virginia Mercury—VA)
  • Hundreds attended a rally in advance of an Anne Arundel County Council hearing on forest conservation, with dozens speaking at the hearing itself. (Capital Gazette—MD)
  • New technology provides a different perspective on the Bay's oyster population and efforts to restore it. (Daily Press—VA) BONUS: CBF Press Release
  • CBF President Will Baker writes on the need for urgency in meeting the Bay's cleanup goals, particularly in Pennsylvania. (Star Democrat—MD)
  • Low salinity levels due to excessive rain has harmed the Bay's oysters. (Bay Journal)

What's Happening around the Watershed in November?


Oyster Gardening

  • In Baltimore's Inner Harbor, help is needed to care for the next generation of Charm City oysters. Join us at the Downtown Sailing Center and help us clean cages, monitor oyster growth, and study marine life in the Harbor. Learn more and register!

Tree Plantings

  • Fall is here, which means it's time to plant trees with CBF! Join us to plant trees in Hopewell, VA or St. Mary's County, MD and help improve local water quality and wildlife habitat.

Invasive Species Removal

  • Tree of Heaven, a smelly Asian plant, can produce a chemical that kills native plants and can damage pavement, sewers, and nearby buildings through its extensive roots. Join us in Hopewell, VA to remove these invasive species and reclaim a local park for native plants! Learn more and register!

Education and Fun

Blueprint Lecture

Drew Robinson 90x110

Drew Robinson

Former Digital Advocacy and Outreach Manager, CBF

Issues in this Post

Climate Change   Advocacy   Algal Blooms   Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint   Conowingo Dam and
Chesapeake Bay
  Fisheries   Forest Loss   Runoff Pollution   Trees   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  


The views and opinions expressed in the media or articles on this site are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by CBF and the inclusion of such information does not imply endorsement by CBF. CBF is not responsible for the contents of any linked Website, or any link contained in a linked Website, or any changes or updates to such Websites. The inclusion of any link is provided only for information purposes.

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