Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

WASHINGTON (AP) - Regional leaders and federal officials are getting together to talk about cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

Thursday's annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council, chaired by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, will include an announcement of how officials plan to meet the goals of a federal-led bay cleanup agreement that was signed last year.

The agreement establishes pollution limits in the nation's largest estuary and sets goals for the bay to be fully restored by 2025

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A lawsuit aimed at keeping cattle out of Virginia streams that feed into the Chesapeake Bay has been rejected by a Circuit Court judge in Richmond.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation said Tuesday it will review the decision before deciding on its next step.

The foundation sued the state to push for regulations that would require Virginia's largest livestock operations to fence off streams to keep their animals out of the water.

creative commons

Cover crops hit a record high of 478-thosuand acres.

That’s up from 2012 when there were 430-thousand acres.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture says that’s the largest number in the state’s history.

Annapolis provided $22 million this year for the program.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation ranks cover crops as one of the five best cost-effective measures for farmers to reduce pollution into the region’s estuary.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A lawsuit is challenging Virginia rules governing large farm operations, arguing that waters feeding the Chesapeake Bay are being fouled by livestock.

The lawsuit was filed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Richmond Circuit Court. It argues that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the State Water Control Board erred when they approved a new 10-year pollution abatement permit governing large dairy, cattle, pig and poultry farms.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A deadline is looming for the annual Clean the Bay Day sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The annual shoreline litter cleanup is being held Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Wednesday is the final day to volunteer.

The foundation is seeking thousands of volunteers on foot and in boats to help tidy up the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay and its many rivers and streams.

In 2014, more than 6,000 volunteers participated, removing 110,000 pounds of litter and debris along nearly 500 miles of shoreline.

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Today is Earth Day.

It was first celebrated in 1970 and turns 45 years old.

On Delmarva much of the attention of environmentalists has centered around restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

This year began with a new Republican Governor Larry Hogan and some concern by environmentalists about what the future may hold.

Eastern Shore Director Alan Girard with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation told Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush that he is pleased with the compromises reached with the state's new chief executive.

Don Rush

Maryland state leaders could be close to a compromise on Governor Larry Hogan’s proposal to reduce the runoff of phosphorus from farms into the Chesapeake Bay.

WBOC reports that the regulations would divide farms into three tiers based on the amount of phosphorus in the soil.

There would be a 20 member advisory board that could weigh in on whether the farmers are making enough progress or need more time.

The panel would include environmentalists like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as well as agricultural advocates such as the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc.

governor's office (file phot0)

Governor Larry Hogan has laid out a new phosphorus initiative.

Billed as an enhanced phosphorus management tool the Maryland Governor would give more time for farmers to cut their use of phosphorus and would immediately stop the state’s greatest offenders.

Most farmers would have until 2022 to fully comply with the new regulations.

Hogan’s spokeswoman Erin Montgomery said that 21 percent of farmers on the Lower Shore would feel the immediate impact of the change.

CBF Website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A new report says Chesapeake Bay water quality has improved, but there's been a decline in fisheries.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation released its biennial State of the Bay report Monday. It gave the nation's largest estuary a D-plus grade overall. That's unchanged from 2012.

The report cites improvements in water clarity, oysters and underwater grasses. But declines were seen in scores for blue crabs and rockfish.

CBF President William Baker took special aim at the Eastern Shore where phosphorus levels have actually gone up in some areas.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is opening what it says is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the world.

The Brock Environmental Center's grand opening is set for Friday in Virginia Beach.

The center near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay will be home to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's environmental education programs. The center will also provide space for other local conservation partners.

cbf.org

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says three Eastern Shore counties have failed to file plans with the Maryland Department of the Environment to clean up the bay over the next two years.

Those were Caroline, Dorchester and Worcester Counties.

In addition, CBF and the Choose Clean Water Coalition noted that Dorchester had not submitted a milestone progress report.

Meanwhile, the environmental groups said that Wicomico County has secured $700-thousand in county and outside grants…to begin designing and installing clean-up measures.

Angela Byrd

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A study finds states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have made strides in reducing pollution in the nation's largest estuary. But it found many jurisdictions in the six-state watershed are falling short in curtailing pollution from farming as well as urban and suburban runoff.

The study is being released Wednesday by two environmental watchdog groups, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Choose Clean Water Coalition.

Don Rush

Maryland Department of Agriculture pulls emergency fertilizer regulations. However, there are expectations that the new rule will be phased in overtime.  Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush reports:

Exelon Corporation website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has filed to intervene in the relicensing of the hydropower facility at the Conowingo Dam.

The foundation said Tuesday that it will urge a solution to the effects the dam has on water quality and habitat.

The Conowingo Project on the Susquehanna River is owned by Exelon Corp. The license for the project expires in September 2014.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licenses the dam.

Don Rush

If they agree to mitigate water pollution Maryland farmers will get a 10-year reprieve from the state in implementing new water quality regulations.

The choice is the result of legislation under the Maryland Agricultural Certainty Program approved during the last session.

But farmers do have questions about how the new law may work.

Chesapeake Bay cbf.org

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has been awarded a $198,740 grant to work with farmers in Virginia.

The funding announced Tuesday from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will help the Chesapeake Bay Foundation train more Virginia farmers on sustainable grazing management and other environmental-friendly practices. The objective of the partnership is to reduce the flow of pollutants and sediments into the Chesapeake Bay.

msa.md.gov

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation hailed a decision by the Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court that overturned a decision to rezone nearly 600 acres of agricultural lands for commercial and residential development. 

By a 3-to-2 vote in November of last year the County Commissioners approved the rezoning, despite objections by two of the commissioners that this would have an adverse impact on neighboring residents.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Website

The House of Representatives has approved a drought relief measure that environmentalists say will take money away from restoration efforts for the Chesapeake Bay. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush interviewed John Siglin, lobbyist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The restoration of the Chesapeake Bay is on schedule.

That’s the conclusion of federal and state officials as well as environmentalists during a meeting in Virginia of representatives from the Bay States and District of Columbia as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.

The assessment is based on a two-year review of the goals in “a pollution diet” for the bay aimed at cutting the flow of farm and urban runoff and water polluted by sewage and storm overflows from entering the bay.

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland senators say a farm bill passed by the Senate retains important bay conservation programs.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, meanwhile, says it is encouraged by the bill passed Thursday. The foundation says the Senate had originally eliminated $50 million a year in cost-share programs for farmers, which senators from bay states were able to save.

 

            An environmental group says there is not enough money being spent to fund Maryland’s bay restoration plan.

            The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Maryland Executive Director Alison Prost said that while the state is halfway to its bay restoration goals lawmakers must come up with more money and make policy changes.

            Otherwise, he adds, the job will not get done as promised.

            Among the measures needed is funding for upgrading sewage treatment plants…and storm water systems.