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.

See real life people & pets affected by bay runoff


What you have seen is shocking but true: decent people who love the Chesapeake Bay getting life-threatening infections by simply coming in contact with its polluted waters–and their pets, too.

What causes these infections? Every time it rains, the water runs off paved surfaces and washes all the nutrients, chemicals, and dirt into our creeks and streams. An inch of rain falling on an acre of hard surface can produce 27,000 gallons of stormwater runoff.

Stormwater runoff flushes fertilizer from lawns, and pesticides, oil and anti-freeze, pet waste, and sediment (dirt) into the nearest creek or stream from developed areas such as your house, streets, and all hardened surfaces whether shopping centers, churches, schools, parking lots, or highways.


Read our list of things you can do yourself to minimize runoff at your home , business, office, school, or house of worship…


Category Archives: Development

The 2012 Draft Comprehensive Plan for Charles County: What You Get When the Developers Write Your Plan

…some counties have revolted against the State’s threat to their autonomy and decided to test the State’s resolve to use the “stick.” Charles County seems poised to join the ranks of Frederick, Cecil and others who don’t have a problem with new development costs being born by the taxpayers and the water being too dirty for their children to play in. Continue Reading

Builders: Do No Harm

(Posted by Howard Ernst)

Before Henry David Thoreau borrowed an axe and withdrew to the woods at Walden Pond, he spent a great deal of time daydreaming of owning a proper farm. He writes that “at a certain season of our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possible site of a house.” Toward this end, he had “surveyed the country on every side within a dozen miles of where I live. In imagination I have bought all the farms in succession.” He imaged how he would transform the land “into orchard, wood-lot, and pasture” and decided “what fine oaks or pines should be left to stand before the door.”

It seems that no one, not even the sage of Walden Pond, can escape from the pull of home ownership. In many ways it is the American Dream—white picket fence, grassy lawn, dog rolling in autumn leaves, every home a castle and every homeowner the king or queen of their castle. Entire television programs—no entire television networks—are based on the premise of buying, building or rebuilding the perfecting home (e.g., “House Hunters,” “Property Virgins,” “Curb Appeal,” and my favorite, “Flipping Out”—who can resist Zoila?).Continue Reading

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