Exploring underwater worlds is just another day at the office for one of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance's newest partners, the Black Girls Dive Foundation, which aims to connect girls to science through SCUBA experiences. This month, we also go below the surface—uncovering how a diverse array of groups and individuals throughout the watershed are using science, restoration, education, and community building to push Bay restoration forward. The Nansemond Indian Nation shares how it is restoring oysters and rebuilding connections to its ancestral waterway. CBF mentor teacher Vicki Mathew explains how her Baltimore High School is expanding environmental education and inclusion. CBF Environmental Justice Staff Attorney Taylor Lilley discusses how we can help ensure environmental justice starts in communities, not courtrooms. And our news wrap-up covers the month's highlights, from solar-powered oyster barges to new plastic bag fees.
"SCUBA diving brings a deeper connection to science and ecosystems," says Dr. Nevada Winrow, co-founder of Maryland-based Black Girls Dive Foundation. This year, the foundation became one of the newest members of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance, a partnership Winrow hopes will help expose more of her students to the Chesapeake Bay and watershed-wide clean-up efforts.
VIDEO: Connecting Through Oysters
After centuries of displacement, the Nansemond Indian Nation is rebuilding connections to its ancestral waterway, in part by raising oysters and volunteering to build living shorelines in support of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance’s goal of adding 10 billion oysters to the Bay. See the tribe's story map to learn more about the cultural revitalization through river stewardship.
More Than a Check Mark
Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down a permit for a proposed natural gas compressor station in Virginia on environmental justice grounds. Taylor Lilley, Environmental Justice Staff Attorney at CBF, discusses how we can build on that win and help ensure environmental justice starts in communities, not courtrooms.
A Force for Nature
CBF mentor teacher Vicki Mathew is a veritable force of nature—and a force for nature. From her start in the Peace Corps to her current role teaching high school biology at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Mathew's commitment to both environmental education and environmental justice continues to connect more young people to science and the world around them.
VIDEO: Around the Bay in 60 Seconds
In this month's news roundup: There's a new EPA administrator for the Mid-Atlantic region; Pennsylvania moves closer to funding clean water initiatives; oysters head to new homes on a solar-powered oyster barge for restoration and, if successful, for aquaculture; five Virginia cities set fees on disposable plastic bags to prevent litter; and more.
What You Can Do
- Carve some pumpkins, Chesapeake style. While you're at it, check out the five scariest critters in the Bay.
- Changing leaves are just one more reason to love trees—find the best places to enjoy fall colors in the watershed.
- Inspired by the colors? Help us plant more trees (and partake in other volunteer opportunities).
- Agricultural conservation is key to saving the Bay. Congress is considering a bill that would provide funding for critical agricultural conservation programs, but they need to hear from you. Show your support today by signing our petition!
- Help us continue to bring the Bay and its rivers to you at home each month. Donate today.