The Potomac Highlands Watershed School
Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is committed to restoring the Bay. Our mission is to reduce pollution, improve fisheries, and protect and restore natural resources such as wetlands, forests, and underwater grasses. In support of this mission we look to reduce pollution from all sources, point and non-point source. Given our broad focus from fisheries preservation to air pollution reduction, CBF interacts with many organizations and must build consensus between these groups to restore the Bay.
Learning and Sharing
The Bay and agriculture are intimately linked, like two sides of the same coin. Both farmers and CBF became cognizant that working together to keep nutrients on the land and out of the water would help the farmer as well as the Bay. Working together we are able to use our resources and knowledge to more effectively promote our needs and protect our common resources.
CBF and the agriculture community spent the last year working to understand what each group needed to effectively met our mutual needs. CBF’s board and staff participated in the fall grain harvest process, working on the combine, fixing equip on-site and learning first hand the efforts needed to support a farming operations. At the same time CBF shared with the agriculture communities some of its knowledge gained from our own sustainable farm (Clagett Farm). These practices help to minimize nitrogen and phosphorus from getting into the Bay. In addition CBF produced the “The State of Chesapeake Agriculture: Vital Signs”. This report details the outlook of farming in the watershed. The year spent learning and listening allows us to form the relationships we needed to create good change both for the farming community and the Bay.
The agriculture community and CBF, together supported the Agricultural Stewardship Acts of 2006. This legislation supports healthy farm practices which will lead to a healthy Bay. The bill serves as a road map for reaching our nitrogen reduction goals outlined in the Maryland Tributary Strategies. Partnering together has enabled these two diverse groups to push forward good laws that help both farming and the Bay. The bill contains many sound policy initiatives as well as funding for cover crops (which keep nitrogen from the Bay) and economic development for farmers.
Maryland Agricultural Stewardship Act is well on its way to becoming law this year. Together Jim Perdue, Chairman of Perdue Farms; Russ Brinsfield, Executive Director of the Maryland Agro-Ecology Center; Will Baker, President of CBF and Earl “Buddy” Hance, President of the Maryland Farm Bureau have come together to support legislation for sound stewardship practices. Leadership working together is the first step in support both a productive farming and a healthy Bay.