Bringing the Bay Home: Civic Engagement During COVID, Vote for the Bay, and a Blueprint Primer

Heron on the Bay-Joseph Simons-1171x593

Joseph Simons

Our roundup of engaging, educational, and inspirational Bay content to enjoy at home during the age of COVID-19.

Election Day is just around the corner and no doubt you’ve been hearing a recurrent message: vote. But it doesn't stop at the ballot box. We can all work to be more active watershed residents, as one of our student leaders in Baltimore writes. Start with a primer on the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the federal/state plan to restore the Bay’s water quality. Get tips on how to safely speak up for local waterways in the age of COVID-19. Learn about the impediments to civic engagement that contribute to environmental injustices in marginalized and vulnerable communities, and how they can be dismantled. If you’re in need of inspiration, check out five recent Bay wins that resident advocates helped drive. And please—if you haven’t already, vote!

Citizen of the Bay

“To me, restoring the Chesapeake Bay means ensuring every resident of Baltimore has the right to clean water and healthy air, to explore and enjoy green spaces, and to thrive within their neighborhoods. Restoring the environment restores us,” writes CBF Student Leader Kaitlyn Leitherer, explaining why she’s pushing herself to become a more active watershed citizen.

Equal Footing

More than 18 million of us share the Bay watershed, but marginalized and vulnerable communities disproportionately shoulder the burden of more pollution, less access to green space and environmental resources, and less say in the decision-making processes that affect their well-being. CBF Environmental Justice Attorney Taylor Lilley outlines ways to help change those unfair systems.

Video: Blueprint Primer

The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is the historic federal/state plan established in 2010 to restore the Bay’s water quality. But the road to finishing the job is steep, and it will take all of us working together to implement it by the 2025 deadline. Learn the basics of the Blueprint, how it came to be, and what’s next.

Advocacy in the Age of COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much of our lives, including how we go about advocating for the Bay and its rivers and streams. In this new world of social distancing, here are a few tried-and-true ways you can still safely speak up for our local waters in these unusual times.

The Bay’s Voice

We’ve long believed the only way to save the Bay is for citizens and government to work together. After more than 50 years of grassroots advocacy for clean water, we’ve learned a few things. And it comes down to this: Your voice matters. Need proof? Watershed advocates helped drive these five Bay wins.

What You Can Do


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Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or helping in our offices, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

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