In early September, ShoreRivers hosted field visits for the Chesapeake Bay Commission’s quarterly meeting, showcasing recent projects implemented on the upper Eastern Shore that reduce pollution from urban and agricultural runoff.
The 21-member commission, comprised of state legislators from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, as well as natural resource cabinet secretaries, acts as a catalyst for the coordination and leadership of state legislative and policy action to restore the Bay watershed. This was a vital opportunity to show elected officials and cabinet secretaries how ShoreRivers works with Eastern Shore communities for clean and healthy rivers, and how representatives from other states can implement these innovative and proven strategies in their regions.
Commission members met with Easton representatives to discuss how the rural town is meeting its municipal stormwater permit requirements and addressing flooding in the town through stream restoration projects. They discussed the town’s successful effort to increase urban tree canopy to improve water quality, mitigate flooding, provide cooling to counteract the urban “heat island effect,” and increase property values.
The Commission then visited Hutchison Brothers Farm to view conservation drainage practices that are helping build a resilient farming future by treating farm runoff and reducing flooding in their fields to mutually benefit the Choptank River and the farming operation.
And finally, Commission members toured Fair Hill Farm in Chestertown, a modern organic dairy farm owned and operated by the Fry family, that exemplifies high quality agricultural products, land and water stewardship, and civic engagement.
The projects chosen highlighted cost-effective strategies to reduce pollution—strategies with important additional benefits such as mitigating flooding, improving towns, engaging community members, and increasing agricultural productivity.
These are just a few examples of the many ways ShoreRivers works to improve the health of local waterways by proactively addressing pressing issues such as climate change, agricultural productivity, and community health.
ShoreRivers’ restoration projects are possible because of state and federal funding entities, including Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, Chesapeake Bay Trust, United States Department of Agriculture, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund. ShoreRivers encourages constituents to ensure that representatives know to prioritize a clean Chesapeake Bay by supporting these funds in the future.
ShoreRivers protects and restores Eastern Shore waterways through science-based advocacy, restoration, and education.