CBF Statement on High Flows at Conowingo Dam

(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Lisa Feldt, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Vice President for Environmental Protection and Restoration, issued the following statement in response to the high flows at Conowingo Dam:

"Without a doubt, scouring behind the Conowingo Dam will impact the health of the Bay, but that's just one part of the story. Look closely at the satellite imagery. Sediment-laden water, as well as a majority of pollution that comes with it, starts much farther upstream. 

"The very presence of the dam alters the form and timing of river water and pollution reaching the Chesapeake Bay, which is why we are thankful that Governor Hogan and the Maryland Department of the Environment want to hold Exelon accountable for a large part of the pollution from the Conowingo Dam.

"The Bay is not yet saved. Exelon needs to be held accountable for its share of the pollution, and so does Pennsylvania."

Satellite image credit NASA

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Five days of relentless rains drenched the region this week. Here's a look in photos and video.


Click yellow plus-sign for captions

  • A muddy Susquehanna River after days of relentless rain. July 26, 2018.

    Photo Credit: Pavoncello Media Productions.

  • A muddy Susquehanna River seems to boil after days of relentless July rains. July 26, 2018

    Photo Credit: Pavoncello Media Productions

  • An aerial view of neighborhoods along the muddy, overflowing Susquehanna.

    High, muddy water along the Susquehanna River after days of relentless rains in July. July 26, 2018

    Photo Credit: Pavoncello Media Productions

  • Muddy, high waters of the Susquehanna roil over the York Haven dam July 26, 2018.

    Photo Credit: Pavoncello Media Productions

  • High waters at the Holtwood dam the day before the Susquehanna River crested. July 26, 2018

    Photo Credit: Pavoncello Media Productions

  • Muddy water pours through the Conowingo Dam, flooding the forest below.

    A torrent of muddy water pours from the Conowingo Dam on July 25, 2018. Exelon opened 20 flood gates to manage the unprecedented water levels resulting from a week of torrential rain.

    Photo Credit: © Jeff Long, AvoidingHighways.com

  • Satellite image showing extensive sediment pollution in the Susquehanna River and upper Chesapeake Bay after major storms on July 26, 2018.

    Image credit: © worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov

  • Trash, branches, and other debris coat the water's edge at CBF's Merrill Center. High water from heavy rains necessitated the opening of 20 floodgates at the Conowingo Dam on July 27, 2018. The torrential water flow sent heavy debris miles down the Chesapeake Bay.

    Photo Credit: © Alice Christman/CBF Staff

  • Debris on the water is so thick it looks like you could walk on it.

    A crew from the Annapolis Harbormaster's Office cleans up floating debris in Ego Alley. Heavy rains and the opening of 20 flood gates at the Conowingo Dam flooded the Chesapeake and its waterways with an unprecedented amount of litter, trees, branches, and sediment.

    Photo Credit: © Emmy Nicklin/CBF Staff



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