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

TAKE ACTION NOW!

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.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT BAY POLLUTION

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

NEWS & UPDATES FROM BAY ACTION PLAN

Category Archives: Septic

‘We Must Preserve an Economic Asset’

(This ninth installment in our series, What’s It Going to Take?, looks at how the environmental community can regain the initiative and build the political will necessary to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.)

In this exclusive interview with the Bay Action Plan, Chesapeake Bay Program Director Nick DiPasquale says that the costs of cleaning the Chesapeake Bay are significant, but manageable.

“No time is a good time when you’re talking about trying to implement very costly pollution control measures,” DiPasquale said. “But when you spread that cost over the life of a project… you find that the cost to individual households is a few dollars a month. Compare it to cellphone or cable costs, it puts things into perspective.”

Continue Reading

2012: Changing the Dialogue About Chesapeake Restoration

(This is the first in a series of posts on What’s It Going to Take?: A look at how the environmental community can regain the initiative and build the political will necessary to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.)

(Posted by Bill Dennison)

What's It Going to Take?Our New Year’s resolution for 2012 should be to improve our public dialogue about Chesapeake restoration. Instead of public arguments, recriminations, and debates about the watershed models, we should be talking about innovative approaches to reducing nutrients reaching the Bay. Instead of arguing about how restoring Chesapeake Bay will be too expensive, we should be embracing the new jobs that restoration activities create (see the Chesapeake Bay Foundation report “Debunking the ‘Job Killer’ Myth: How Pollution Limits Encourage Jobs in the Chesapeake Bay Region”). Instead of bemoaning the difference between current conditions and the “good old days,” we should be celebrating the achievements that are being made with respect to realistic, short term targets. Continue Reading

Sprawl Poisons the Bay

(Posted by Gerald Winegrad).

The recent deluges leading to massive stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay may cause great damage to an already seriously impaired system. We previously have discussed in this spot the huge flows of Bay-choking nutrients and sediment from farms each time it rains. Now, we will devote discussions to the pollution flowing from developed lands including huge amounts of nutrients, sediment, and toxic chemicals.

The Chesapeake’s watershed before 1607 was 95 percent forested with huge acreage of intact wetlands. These forests and wetlands absorbed and held nutrients and sediment. The flow of these Bay-killing pollutants was greatly accelerated due to enormous changes in land use when we converted forests and wetlands to agriculture and then, more recently, to development. The Bay region has since lost about 50 percent of its forest cover and 72 percent of its wetlands. No change has been more devastating for the Bay.Continue Reading