Last December, EPA issued a science-based diet that—if achieved—would reduce pollution to our waterways. Just as progress is underway, powerful forces are working to derail the recovery effort. All of us who love the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams must make our voices heard.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed covers approximately 64,000 square miles (164,000 km2) and comprises one of the most important estuaries in the North Atlantic. With rapid development along its shores destroying vast swaths of wetlands and buffering forest, and polluted with a steady increase in agrochemical runoff from the 1950s on, this once thriving estuarine ecosystem was headed toward collapse.
A forty-year campaign by The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other stakeholders has gradually turned the tide, with current political will at the point of tipping toward long-term restoration and protection of the Bay. The Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Act (H.R. 3852/S. 1816) was introduced to both chambers of the United States Congress last October, on its way to mark-up at the end of this year. These two bills seek to amend the Federal Clean Water Act (Section 117) to ensure that the six states of the Bay watershed, plus the District of Columbia, develop and implement detailed plans to reduce pollution sufficiently to achieve Bay-wide pollution reduction targets for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment by 2025.
Photographers from the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) embarked on a multi faceted expedition in partnership with Chesapeake Bay Foundation to document the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Check out the Chesapeake Bay Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE) here.
The Bay Bridge connects the mainland of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed area to the land that leads to the coasts of the Eastern shores. Seen often with a sunny sky, and crowded beaches, this early morning saw almost no people, or cars between bridge and shore. Annapolis, MD. © Karine Aigner/ iLCP
Write your state representatives.
Tell them you care about clean water!