|From the Desk of Harry Campbell
When We Work Together, Good Things Can Happen
CBF's Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell.
This spring our office has been operating at lightning speed—taking on projects in new communities, expanding our streamside forest restoration efforts, working with a few hundred volunteers, and many visits with our legislators. Finally, we hosted the first in a series of public forums to connect people with this region's greatest natural resource—the Susquehanna River—and to resolving pollution issues that are resulting in a fishery on the brink, the smallmouth bass.
On smallmouth bass . . .
Just last month CBF released a new report, Angling for Healthier Rivers, The Link Between Smallmouth Bass Mortality and Disease and the Need to Reduce Water Pollution in Chesapeake Bay Tributaries which reveals scientific evidence that a 'perfect storm' of nutrient pollution, warming water temperatures, and endocrine disrupting chemicals are coalescing to threaten one of Pennsylvania's most popular game fish, the smallmouth bass.
Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection and other entities are committed to studying the issue. As discussed at our forum, we can do something right now and that's reducing pollution entering into the river. Pennsylvania is committed to it as part of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint and it can only help the bass.
One tree at a time—or hundreds . . .
Spring is certainly the time to plant trees, and so far our staff, volunteers, and many, many partners have teamed-up to plant trees along streams and in our communities.
In Franklin County we joined the Antietam Watershed Association and Washington Township to plant 600 seedlings at Antietam Meadows, a community park located in Waynesboro. The collaborative effort is part of a larger streamside restoration effort, so we're very happy to be able to lend a hand. Check out our photos of the planting on Facebook!
In Lancaster County our staff, members, and volunteers joined Penn State Extension's Lower Susquehanna Initiative for six large-scale spring tree planting and watershed restoration events along the Conewago, Little Conewago, and Mill Creeks.
Moving into downtown Harrisburg, CBF is working with the Community Action Commission and a team of organizations to help improve quality of life and the environment in downtown Harrisburg—starting by planting 20 trees and providing rain barrels.
Planting urban trees, installing rain barrels, and a host of other green initiatives can help reduce pollution and revitalize communities. Tree planting in urban and agricultural settings is also a key component of Pennsylvania's Clean Water Blueprint.
On the policy side of life . . .
We are calling on the Governor and state leaders to invest in programs that help improve water quality and beautify communities by reducing urban stormwater pollution, provide farmers with the tools to implement conservation practices, upgrade sewage treatment practices, and so much more.
Specifically, we are calling on the Governor to:
- Address roadway stormwater in transportation funding bills;
- Reinstate conservation district support; and
- Reinvest in Growing Greener.
Learn more and take action here! These investments are important to Pennsylvania's Clean Water Blueprint and will help address pollution concerns with smallmouth bass health.
And finally, our office was recently awarded a grant from the William Penn Foundation to expand our efforts on stormwater issues in south central Pennsylvania. Our work is twofold: expand our connection to local communities by embarking on a targeted marketing campaign and assist municipalities in planning for and dealing with stormwater issues related to Pennsylvania's Clean Water Blueprint.
Clean water, healthy fish, and vibrant communities are legacies we can leave to our children and grandchildren. These projects are all reminders that when we work together, good things can happen.
Pennsylvania Executive Director
Chesapeake Bay Foundation