The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum

POVs

 Stakeholder Group: Environmentalists

Berkeley Springs High School
Petersburg High School

 

Group:  chespeake bay lovers:  Petersburg High School, Biology

Like a human, plant or animal, the Chesapeake Bay watershed is a complex, living system. Interconnected habitats and living things like this are called ecosystems. The Bay is a very large ecosystem. It is made up of smaller ecosystems including forests, streams and marshes. Ecosystems work through the plants and animals that live in them. In a healthy ecosystem, plants and animals can benefit each other in a cycle of energy. Plants use solar energy to grow, transforming nutrients from the decay and waste of other living things. Animals eat the plants and recycle the nutrients, through their wastes and by their death and decay, for the use of other living things. The same process occurs on the land, in terrestrial ecosystems, and in the water, in aquatic ecosystems. Ecosystems continue to thrive when the energy from the nutrients in this cycle is not wasted or lost, but is stored and recycled. More humans in an ecosystem mean more energy is diverted for our use. Residential developments replace wetlands, forests and meadows. Every day, new development is bringing new housing, shopping malls and office buildings to the Bay watershed. Producing electricity, diverting water for human uses, and building roads, houses and sewage treatment plants put stress on the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay. Each action, be it turning on a faucet, paving a road, or cutting down a tree, represents a change in the natural balance of the Bayís ecosystem. Actions far away from the Bay but within its watershed affect its ecosystem.


 

Group: Enviromentalist:  Petersburg High School
We are doing a project on why should we try to restore the Bay? The Chesapeake Bay might seem to be a long, long way from your home. You may never have seen it. Heck, you might never have even taken a step out of your home state. But you live in the Bayís enormous watershed, a watershed that stretches from upstate New York to southern Virginia, and from Delaware to the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia. And you do have an impact on the Bay in the choices you and your neighbors make on how to use and manage our lands. And the Bay has an impact on you; from the oysters many people love to eat in the fall, to providing an important engine for the regionís economy. Simply put, the Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure. Itís the largest estuary in North America and one of the most productive in the world. Home to more than 3,600 species of plants and animals, it also provides important economic, recreational, cultural, and educational resources to the more than 16 million people who live in the watershed, and to the regionís untold visitors. Unfortunately, after many years of receiving pollution from its 64,000 square mile watershed, the Bay is in serious trouble. All of the states in the Bay watershed have committed to reduce the flow of key pollutants - nutrients and sediment - to the Bay, which Bay scientists have determined is the key in restoring it to health. Each of the Bay states has established Tributary Teams to develop strategies for reducing nutrients and sediment, and to implement their strategies. This effort will impact every community in the region for many years to come. This I see as being a good thing from all standpoints whether you are a farmer, fisherman or just someone who likes doing outdoor activities. This will be a great thing and even if you donít fall under one of these profiles it still affects you in some way whether it be drinking water or even just your customers if youíre a businessman. The clean up will help everyone by creating a better and healthier environment for all. So we should clean up the bay. To raise the money for the clean up we should Harshly fine the people dumping into the bay or connected streams/rivers Tax all who use the bay or waterways also? This would be fair because of the use is what is polluting it. I swim in the bay and itís getting harder to do this with all the pollution. So this problem needs to be fixed as soon as possible, for all the people around the area as well as me. Not much really needs to be done. If People stopped dumping into it and Farmers didnít let their cows roam free in the stream it would help a lot.

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Group: CATS 10:  Jordan, Jeremy, Clayton, and Cody
Berkeley Springs High School
There are many sources of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. The number one source of pollution is nitrogen pollution to the bay. It comes from agricultural runoff which includes: animal waste and fertilizer for crops. Other pollutants include, sewage treatment plants, large-scale animal operations, agriculture, and air pollution, like vehicle exhaust, and smoke stacks from industrial sources, like power plants. Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for the growth of living organism in the Chesapeake. Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus may degrade the Bayís quality. It will cause algae blooms that devour oxygen, which causes marine life to die because it lowers the oxygen count in the water. The algae blooms block sunlight to the underwater grasses which prevents the plants from growing. Another problem with pollution is that it also affects the food industry in the bay because it can harm parts of the ecosystem. When this happens it mean less seafood such as crabs are caught and the price goes up and inflation occurs. This affects the human population.