Stream & Shoreline Restoration
By planting forested buffers (above) and living shorelines, CBF is creating natural pollution filters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Photo by CBF Staff
The Importance of Rivers and Streams
Five major rivers—the Susquehanna, Potomac, Rappahannock, York, and James—provide nearly 90 percent of the fresh water to the Chesapeake Bay. These and the hundreds of thousands of creeks and streams that feed them, provide vital habitat for many aquatic species, including anadromous fish species like shad and sturgeon,turtles and amphibians, and important plants and grasses.
Stormwater runoff from farmland and urban and suburban areas wash nutrients—often excessive amounts of them—into our streams and rivers eventually leading to the Bay. Too much of these nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus in particular) do great harm to our waters' critters, plants, and underwater life.
What We're Doing About It
By building and restoring forested buffers (multiple rows of native trees, shrubs, and grasses) along streams and rivers, we are able to capture and filter out the pollution from runoff through these buffers. They also provide important habitat for wildlife and aquatic species, stabilize stream banks against erosion, and help keep rivers cool in summer.
In addition CBF creates living shorelines along river and Bay waterfront with native wetland plants and grasses. These areas help restore habitat, prevent erosion, capture sediment, and filter pollution.
CBF has been supporting restoration efforts on the Eastern Shore for years. Above, volunteers plant trees as part of a farm conservation program at Harleigh Farm. Photo by Margaret Enloe/CBF Staff.
Engaging Eastern Shore Communities to Save the Bay
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) educates and motivates Eastern Shore residents to support clean water efforts through a range of community events. From ice cream socials to public forums to planting trees in downtown Cambridge, CBF recognizes that in order to be successful, Bay restoration must start at the community level.
Last November, CBF and partner organizations initiated “Clean Water Week”—a week-long celebration of bringing back the health of local rivers and streams complete with music, film, art, and educational talks and clean water tips. The event drew and inspired hundreds of engaged citizens concerned about the health of our waters.
A few weeks prior, CBF participated in Fresh Coat Pine Street, a community building event intended to cultivate citizen interest and participation in stewardship by organizing volunteers to provide maintenance and repairs at downtown residence and business locations throughout Cambridge, Maryland.
Just recently, CBF participated in Plein Air-Easton! Competition and Arts Festival to reconnect with individuals about the importance of clean water, what we’re doing to restore the Bay and its rivers and streams, and how others can help.
Further, CBF continues to cultivate a strong group of clean water advocates to stand up for the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. Earlier this year, we convened 13 conservation partners to initiate a citizen activist training called Clear Voices—Clean Water Call to Action, which offered an overview of why now is the moment in time for Bay restoration. More than 60 citizens participated from across the Eastern Shore.
CBF continues to organize citizens to communicate clean water messages to Congressman Andrew Harris. Harris has suggested that federal action to implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is an impediment to local efforts by communities, counties and states to restore clean water for our children, families, and the next generation. However, many scientists agree that the Blueprint is the Bay's best hope for recovery after decades of failure and inaction. Residents of the area—where the Bay is so close to the places people live, work, and play—routinely tell us how important clean water is to their livelihoods. CBF's efforts to highlight how out-of-synch Harri' views are with those of the many who live and work on the Shore in his district is a main focus of CBF's growing presence.