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Chesapeake Bay Foundation
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the only independent organization dedicated solely to restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers.
Recent Activity
We have a few items we need to pick up from a greenhouse supplier (Maryland Plants and Supplies) on the southern edge of Baltimore city. If anyone will be driving from there to Upper Marlboro (or Takoma Park or Bowie)... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Clagett Farm
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Wondering how your crops are progressing? Here's a few updates: The greenhouse plants are growing well! No groundhog invasions this year. Here's a photo I took on March 27th. In the foreground, you see some kohlrabi that we planted last... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Clagett Farm
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Praise the creator by protecting creation. An interfaith celebration of Earth Day is planned for Sunday, April 27, at the Annapolis Towne Centre mall, 203 Harker Place in Annapolis. The “Earth, Water, Faith Festival: Creative Alternatives to Protect the Earth’s Resources,” will feature live music, readings, and reflections, as well as games and t-shirt decorating for kids. For more information, click here. The event is being sponsored by the Chesapeake Interfaith Environmental Group and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, as well as the Annapolis Friends Meeting, Ark & Dove Presbyterian Church, Calvery United Methodist Church, Congregation Kol Shalom, First Presbyterian Church... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Bay Daily
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More than half of the miles of streams in the United States only have water flowing in them after it rains. But these intermittent creeks can contribute a significant amount of water pollution to rivers, lakes, and bays downstream, including the Chesapeake. So it is important that these smaller waterways be covered by the federal Clean Water Act, so that wildlife, outdoor recreation, and drinking water supplies are protected. Unfortunately, murky U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 -- and subsequent interpretations by the Bush Administration -– effectively stripped Clean Water Act protections from not only many intermittent streams,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Bay Daily
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Maryland state police recently used a helicopter as a surveillance platform to catch and arrest four watermen for dredging oysters from a sanctuary on the Eastern Shore, in Somerset County. The March 14 arrests of the watermen was the most recent example of heightened campaigns in both Marlyand and Virginia to crack down on illegal harvest of oysters. Widespread poaching has been a significant barrier to oyster restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay. “On the water, from the air and on land, Natural Resource Police officers are making it clear that oyster poaching will not be tolerated,” said Governor Martin... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at Bay Daily
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A fish hawk wheels out of the gray sky as a rainy wind blows against the shore the Chesapeake Bay south of Annapolis. The white headed bird with hooked claws –- an osprey -- circles above the leafless trees and bent reeds before landing on a nest of sticks. Soon a second osprey appears with a fish in its claws. It circles, then lands beside its mate on the platform atop a telephone pole. The two are among the first osprey to return to the Chesapeake Bay this spring after an epic migration of more than two thousand miles from... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2014 at Bay Daily
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It is shortsighted to pave the Chesapeake region’s farms and forests for quick cash. But that, tragically, is where the road is heading in Southern Maryland -– to a landscape with more Taco Bells than tobacco barns, and more strip malls than streams full of yellow perch. Development interests in Charles County formed a cynically-named lobbying group called the “Balanced Growth Initiative” that has gained political influence over a slim majority of the Board of Charles County Commissioners. On Tuesday, that majority voted 3-2 to approve a planning map that shifts 9,000 acres out of a conservation area and into... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at Bay Daily
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In 1969, Maryland lawmakers created a simple but ingenious system that protects at least a portion of the state’s forests and fields as suburbia rolls like a tide across the landscape. Lawmakers approved a real estate transfer tax. A half of one percent of any real-estate transaction is directed into a special fund that, by law, must be spent buying land to create parks and nature sanctuaries. The fund also protects family farms through conservation easements, and pays for urban playgrounds and recreation. Program Open Space, as it is called, makes logical sense. Environmental harm from real estate development helps... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2014 at Bay Daily
Would you like to become a member of Clagett Farm's CSA? Do you know someone who would? Today is the day! At 5:30pm, go the web site: www.cbf.org/clagettsignup. You'll see a registration form that asks for your contact information--no payment... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2014 at Clagett Farm
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A resolution in the Maryland General Assembly urging the federal government to help solve the problem of sediment buildup behind the Conowingo Dam was recently passed unanimously by the Senate Education, Health, and Environment Committee. The dam is located about 10 miles north of the Chesapeake’s Bay northern end on the Susquehanna River, the largest source of fresh water into the Bay. For decades, the dam has been trapping some dirt and pollutants flowing down the river, thus helping to reduce the pollution in the Bay. But now the reservoir behind the dam is filling up with sediment. This poses... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at Bay Daily
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Clean water advocates across the country are rallying in support of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort, which is under attack by lawyers for the agricultural industry and their allies. The Chicago-based Alliance for the Great Lakes, the Ohio Environmental Council, the Lake Erie Waterkeeper, and the Sierra Club are the most recent organizations to express their support for EPA pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. The EPA pollution limits have been challenged in federal court by the American Farm Bureau Federation, which recruited 21 state Attorneys General -– including in Michigan, Indiana, and Texas... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2014 at Bay Daily
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Ten years ago, the Maryland General Assembly passed a clean energy law called the “Renewable Portfolio Standard.” It requires home owners and businesses across the state to pay a little bit more on their electric bills to subsidize the creation of renewable energy. The law has a virtuous goal: to boost the percentage of the state’s energy generated in environmentally friendly ways from 10 percent today, to 20 percent by the year 2022. But lawmakers included a loophole at the request of lobbyists for the paper industry. An industrial wood waste product –- a tar-like liquid called “black liquor” --... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2014 at Bay Daily
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Bravo to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley for standing up to defend the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, even as 21 states take legal action to try to stop it. On February 3, Attorneys General for the 21 states, many in the in the Midwest and South, joined the American Farm Bureau Federation and development industry lobbyists in their legal appeal of EPA pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. The opponents are worried that if the Bay pollution limits are successful they might have to reduce their pollution, too. Governor O’Malley, chair of a regional alliance called... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2014 at Bay Daily
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Double-crested cormorants are an ancient and peculiar-looking fishing bird -– with black feathers, long, snake like necks, webbed feet, and hooked beaks. They often have a pair of shaggy tufts -– double crests -– on their heads that make them look like disheveled professors. They nest in colonies, and sing in grunts that sound more like the calls of pigs or toads than birds. Around the Chesapeake Bay, you may have seen cormorants standing on pilings in their trademark pose: with their black wings held out sideways, to dry in the sun. It is this vampire-like posture –- and the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2014 at Bay Daily
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Hey, Florida! You worry about the Everglades. Let us clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Florida Attorney General Pamela Jo Bondi (pictured at left) cast a cloud over the sunshine state last week. She joined with 20 other state Attorneys General across the country in filing a brief to support the American Farm Bureau, the Fertilizer Institute, and their allies in a legal appeal to overturn EPA pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay. Their reason for involving themselves in a lawsuit so far from their own borders? These states (which include Texas, Alaska, and Kansas) worry that if the U.S. Environmental... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2014 at Bay Daily
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I usually attend several farm conferences and meetings during the winter. It's a good time to learn new ideas, revive old ones, meet fellow farmers, and so forth. Unfortunately I'll have to miss Rooting DC, but I've heard it's great.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at Clagett Farm
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An advertising and You Tube battle has erupted over pollution control fees in Maryland. On one side is this radio ad. “Keep the weed killer out of my crab cakes,” Baltimore-based singer Matt Hutchison sings in the ad. “Motor oil out of my rockfish. Fertilizer out of my flounder. That'd make a hideous dish.” The ad was produced by the Clean Water, Healthy Families Coalition and Annapolis-based Flying Brick Radio, and is airing on radio stations in Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington. The goal is to convince the Maryland General Assembly to vote against bills that would overturn the state’s 2012... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2014 at Bay Daily
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We’re not in Kansas anymore. We’re on the Chesapeake Bay. Which is why it is puzzling that Kansas Attorney General Dereck Schmidt has led 20 other state Attorneys General, mostly from farming states in the Midwest and South, in backing the American Farm Bureau Federation’s legal efforts to overturn pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay. The 21 state Attorneys General yesterday filed a brief to support the Farm Bureau and other agriculture and development lobbying groups in their appeal of a federal judge’s decision on September 14 to uphold EPA’s pollution limits for the nation’s largest estuary. In a press... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2014 at Bay Daily
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The more than 30-year-old regional partnership of governments called the Chesapeake Bay Program recently released a proposed new draft agreement for improving the estuary’s health. Two previous Chesapeake Bay agreements, in 1987 and 2000, resulted in some improvements to water quality in the Bay and its tributaries. But overall, the state governments in the region and Washington, D.C., fell far short of the goals in those agreements. As a result, in December 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stepped in and issued pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay and warned of financial consequences to the state governments and D.C. if... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at Bay Daily
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The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s most recent report, Polluted Runoff, inspired coverage by 25 newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations across the region. The intent of the report's release during a press converence in Annapolis last week was to inform state legislators and the general public about the only major source of water pollution that is increasing in the Bay and its tributaries. Lawmakers in Maryland and Virginia are right now considering bills that would overturn or undermine important runoff pollution control laws and regulations. Hopefully, the facts, figures, and water pollution experts cited in the report will advance understanding of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2014 at Bay Daily
The weather may still be cold but we at Clagett Farm CSA are already thinking about the start of our 2014 season. RENEWING MEMBERS: you should have received your renewal email from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The email includes the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2014 at Clagett Farm
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Across the Chesapeake Bay region, one major source of water pollution is on the rise while every other is declining. That one source is suburban and urban polluted runoff, also called stormwater. Today, CBF released a new report on the subject, "Polluted Runoff: How Investing in Runoff Pollution Cotrol Systems Improves the Chesapeake Bay Region's Ecology, Economy, and Health." Polluted runoff erodes stream banks, floods homes and roads, fouls local waterways, contaminates drinking water supplies, and makes us sick. The good news is that in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, legislation has been passed to address polluted runoff and to reduce... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Bay Daily
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Promoting local agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay region is important for preserving open spaces, reducing greenhouse gas pollution, and protecting our rural character and economy. A small -- but beautiful -- part of that picture is the promotion of local flower growers and sellers (like Carling Elder of Local Color Flowers in Baltimore, shown in the picture here). Making gifts of flowers is a romantic tradition that many people will enjoy next month, on Valentine’s Day. But flowers are not just decorative. They are also a more than $40 billion dollar a year industry. Americans consume more cut flowers every... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Bay Daily
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A federal judge this week issued a decision that clears the way for an extensive study of potentially contaminated waters off the Sparrows Point steel mill in Baltimore County. For years, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and its allies have been in court demanding comprehensive testing for toxic chemicals in the waters off the now-bankrupt steel mill site. The previous owners improperly disposed of hazardous wastes including benzene, chromium, lead, naphthalene, and zinc. On Monday, Maryland District Court Judge Frederick Motz vacated an earlier decision of his to limit testing of the waters to a narrow area. That was a victory... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Bay Daily
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We’re smack in the middle of oyster season in Chesapeake Bay country, and millions of the delicious bivalves are getting shucked, slurped, roasted, fried, stewed, and eaten. But what happens to the empty shells diners leave behind? Historically, most oyster shells were thrown away, buried in abandoned wells and landfills, or crushed and used as road bed or other construction filler. Today, we know better. Rather than tossing those shells into the trash, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and other oyster restoration advocates are tossing them back into the Bay to help rebuild oyster reefs and repopulate the Bay with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2014 at Bay Daily