After decades of effort, the voluntary, collaborative approach to restoring the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay— the largest estuary in the United States—has not worked and, in fact, is failing. A diverse group of 57 senior scientists and policymakers have joined forces to save the Bay. This is our plan.

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Category Archives: wetlands

Protecting Forests and Increasing Buffers to Restore the Bay and Local Rivers

(Posted by Dawn Stoltzfus.)

With all the recent focus on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and local WIPs, here’s something that may have flown under the radar of Marylanders following Bay restoration efforts: the Maryland Sustainable Forestry Council is developing a set of legislative proposals to achieve a “No Net Loss” of forests in Maryland, due by December 1, 2011. It seems like we could easily be losing sight of the forest for the trees!

Last week, former Maryland State Senator Gerald Winegrad testified before the Council. As Senator Winegrad notes in his testimony, “the Sustainable Forestry Council can greatly assist in efforts to restore the Bay by focusing on nonpoint source pollution as forests and wetlands are the greatest protectors of the Bay from pollutants.”

Senator Winegrad’s testimony includes two measures that are a part of the Senior Bay Scientists and Policymakers’ 25-step action plan: Adopt a No Net Loss of Forest Coverage and Require Forested Buffers along 85% of Riparian Areas, and Target Existing Funding and Amend the Forest Conservation Act (FCA) to Achieve No Net Loss and Expanded Buffers.

Not only do forests and buffers along waterways do an excellent job at reducing pollution, they also provide valuable wildlife habitat, restore fisheries, reduce flooding and improve air quality.

While the public meetings are now finished, you can let the Sustainable Forestry Council know you support these recommendations by emailing: SFCComments@dnr.state.md.us.

Mitigation Madness

(Posted by Fred Tutman.)

The legend of Robin Hood is about a fabled band of brave outlaws in medieval England who took money from the rich under a repressive monarchy and redistributed it to the poor. Sounds like a good thing right? Take something from somebody who has too much and give it instead to somebody who has not enough. What could be wrong with that? Fast forward into reality on the Chesapeake Bay, the 21st century and the lopsided world of “net environmental impacts” where we can take a perfectly good and functioning wetlands site, turn it into a parking lot and then make up for it by restoring a wetlands half way across the state. Continue Reading