Save the Bay Newsletter: Fall Changes, Farm Fest, and Leaf-Peeping


Beautiful fall foliage is just one of many benefits trees provide, witnessed in this gorgeous scene on Greenbelt Lake in Greenbelt, MD.

Cynthia Cummings

Fall is a magical time around the watershed. From vibrant, changing leaves to blustery cold fronts to quintessential autumnal activities, explore some of the great things that make this season on the Chesapeake so special.

By the end of September, fewer ospreys are wheeling through Chesapeake skies and striped bass are gorging on food before winter—so tells John Page Williams, retired CBF Senior Naturalist, in his Chesapeake Almanac podcast about how fish and wildlife are responding to the changing season. Williams was the first director of CBF’s award-winning environmental education programs, which after 50 years are still grounded in immersive experiences like the one educator Adaiah Bauer describes on the Susquehanna River this month. But climate change continues to reshape the watershed in many ways. CBF’s Maryland Senior Scientist Doug Myers recently joined Seth Coffman of Trout Unlimited to discuss what rising water temperatures mean for restoration and which management efforts can help. Two of the most effective are planting streamside trees and protecting forests, which can be enjoyed this time of year from many great leaf-peeping hikes and bikes around the watershed. Another important way to mitigate climate change and improve water quality is through regenerative farming practices. To see these practices at work and celebrate the season with some local food and brews, you can head out to the family-friendly Food & Farm Fest at CBF’s Clagett Farm on Oct. 14. Happy fall!

A Food & Farm Fest 23 cup and a hamburger on a plate sit on a table with the farm in the background.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Food & Farm Fest

Did you know CBF operates a 283-acre working farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland? Wonder why? On Oct. 14, the farm invites the community for Food & Farm Fest to learn how regenerative farming can help improve water quality, soil health, biodiversity, and the climate all while enjoying local food, brews, hayrides, and more things we love about fall at this family-friendly event!  

Dozens of dead fish float on the water's surface.

Dead zones and algal blooms, which rob our waters of oxygen, often result in devastating "fish kills" like this.

John Surrick/CBF Staff

Keeping It Cool

Record-high temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean are contributing to an above-average hurricane season this year, and warming waters are also reshaping conditions in the Bay and its rivers and streams. CBF’s Maryland Senior Scientist Doug Myers joined Seth Coffman of Trout Unlimited recently to discuss the latest science and what hotter water means for restoration moving forward.

Students explore the shallows of a river with canoes featured in the foreground.

After canoeing to sheltered shallows on the Juniata River, students explore the habitat, resident creatures, and water quality.

Adaiah Bauer/CBF

Up a Creek (and Loving It)

Back to school for students means back into the field for CBF educators. More than 1.5 million people have learned with our award-winning education program over the past 50 years. Adaiah Bauer, who works on CBF’s Pennsylvania Rivers and Streams Environmental Education Program, describes how the magic happens when students and teachers exchange desks for paddles and canoes on the Susquehanna River.

Yellow and orange leaves cover the trees above a small stream and walking bridge.

Public lands across the Bay region offer the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in fall foliage.

Benjamin Hoffman

Fall Leaves and Saving Trees

Throughout the Bay watershed, red, orange, and yellow leaves are starting to make their appearance. Check out our list of great leaf-peeping hikes, bike trails, and more to enjoy them. Then, learn how you can help us stop the loss of tree canopy and forests to keep our waterways clean and our falls full of beautiful leaves for generations to come.

The rising sun illuminates the clouds orange over a still river and woodland.

Adam Van Grack

Signs of the Season

Fewer ospreys, striped bass feeding frenzies, blustery cold fronts—the signs of fall are all around us by late September. In this podcast episode, retired CBF Senior Naturalist John Page Williams, Jr. reads from his book, Chesapeake Almanac, to describe how fish and wildlife respond to the changing season and environmental cues like daylight and water temperature.

In the News

What You Can Do

  • Join us on the farm October 14 for Food & Farm Fest. Enjoy an afternoon full of mouthwatering food, refreshing craft beverages, lively music, and family-friendly activities like pumpkin painting, scavenger hunts, and free professional family portraits. Get your tickets today! Plus, keep an eye on our calendar for other exciting events and volunteer opportunities this fall.
  • As temperatures get cooler, the CBF Store has some exciting new fall designs to spice up your wardrobe! Stay cozy in our crewneck sweatshirt, watch the game in our vintage ball cap, and customize your gear with CBF stickers.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest Bay-saving efforts and opportunities by joining our SMS Action Network.
  • Match Alert: Right now, your gift to save the Bay will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 thanks to our friends at Leidos.


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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