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: wildlife

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.

A Riverkeeper Reflects

(Posted by Jeanne McCann.)
Local photographer David Joyner interviews Riverkeeper Fred Tutman about his rural roots, growing up on a farm, how he came to be the Patuxent Riverkeeper and the specific pollution issues facing the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay, and his life as an environmental activist.

Fred Tutman, Riverkeeper from david joyner on Vimeo.

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“Death by a Thousand Cuts”: Chesapeake Bay’s Disappearing Shoreline

(This is the first in a series of reviews of notable films that we feel should be part of any card-carrying environmental activist’s toolkit. We’ve chosen films that we think have made an important contribution to understanding the challenges facing restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. We kick off with a look back at Michael English’s 2008 gem, “Weary Shoreline.” -Eds.)

(Posted by John D. Wickham.)

Weary ShorelineCoastal Maryland, encompassing the state’s capital, Annapolis, the counties of Anne Arundel, Talbot, and Dorchester, and still other areas, is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the United States, whose rivers and tributaries feed into the nation’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay. Though picturesque, this border area where land and sea meet has been under relentless pressure from human population growth and real estate development in the last three decades. Estimates put Southern Maryland’s loss of forest cover at more than 160,000 acres in the last fifteen years.
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A Sad Thanksgiving Reflection on the Bay’s Decline

We are all taking time from busy schedules and our frantic American lifestyle to give thanks for our many blessings here in Bay country. The Buffleheads and Hooded Mergansers are here on Oyster Creek where we live very close to the Bay and Double-crested Cormorants are diving and feasting on small fish. As I reflect on our bounty I come to the realization and then sadness of how we are surrounded by a much diminished population of waterfowl and wildlife due to human disturbance.
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