Save the Bay News: A Chemical Capital’s Transformation, An Oyster Reef Reborn

hopewell tree planting-kenny fletcher-1171x593

By increasing the tree cover in Hopewell, VA, we're cooling summer temperatures, greening streets, and making cleaner air and water for residents.

Kenny Fletcher

And other stories you may have missed. Check out our weekly roundup of engaging and educational content for you to enjoy at home!

For us, the Bay always gets top billing, but we realize some big stories may have been lost in the tumult of headlines this month. Don’t fear! We kept track. In case you missed it, researchers announced this year’s Bay dead zone was smaller than most, Congress passed the most important bill to advance Bay cleanup in a generation, oyster restoration projects gained steam, tree plantings in Hopewell, Virginia continued the transformation of the South’s former “Chemical Capital,” we received a grant that will help eight Pennsylvania counties meet their clean water goals, and leaders of four local American Indian tribes shared their perspectives on current Chesapeake Bay issues.

Dead Zone Improves

Researchers announced good news about this year’s Chesapeake Bay dead zone—it was smaller than 80 percent of the dead zones reported in the 35 previous years. Pollution reduction efforts and favorable weather helped. “A smaller dead zone means more areas for oysters, crabs, and fish, to thrive in the Bay,” says CBF Director of Science Dr. Beth McGee.

From Chemicals to Community Trees

For too many decades, Hopewell was known for catastrophic industrial pollution. The small Virginia city once boasted a welcome sign declaring it the “Chemical Capital of the South.” Now, Hopewell residents are enjoying cleaner air, healthier waterways, and greener parks—thanks in part to work with CBF, the city, and other partners through the Hopewell Restoration Project.

Legislative ACE

The most important bill to advance Bay cleanup in a generation, the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act, became the law of the land on October 30 after passing both chambers of Congress overwhelmingly. The ACE Act boosts funding authority and creates programs to improve water quality, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and expand public access.

Webinar: Original Inhabitants

The Chesapeake Bay region is steeped in the history of its indigenous tribes. Today, there are tens of thousands of people in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia who identify as American Indian. In this webinar, we speak with some of the leaders of four local tribes about their perspectives on current Chesapeake Bay issues.

Oyster Plantings, Big and Small

This month, more than 200,000 juvenile oysters from our Maryland Oyster Restoration Center found new homes on the historic Herring Bay Oyster Sanctuary, boosting a community-led restoration effort. Local projects remain critical while large-scale restoration continues—including what will be the largest oyster restoration project in the world in the Manokin River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Pennsylvania Buffer Boost

Pennsylvania’s plan to clean up its waterways and the Bay calls for planting thousands of acres of streamside forest buffers by 2025. A new National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant to CBF, and matching funds, will install buffers in eight counties and train landscape professionals to plant and maintain them—doubling and potentially tripling the workforce on the ground.

What You Can Do

    • Learn ways to safely advocate for the Bay in the age of COVID-19.
    • Register for our Nov. 18 webinar, Conserving and Restoring Virginia's Tree Canopy.
    • In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we’re paying tribute to the original stewards of the lands and waters of the Chesapeake region. Read on, then find out what tribal land you call home using the Native Land tool.
    • Help us meet our fall fundraising goal and continue to bring the Bay to you at home each week. Give today!


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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Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

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