Bay Journal

William C. Baker

Three examples show how ripples can become waves to save the Bay

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The saying goes: “It takes a village.” To fully implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, governments, businesses and citizens all must do their part. Every day, I meet people working to reduce pollution and restore local rivers, streams and the Chesapeake. What I have learned is that Bay’s village is huge. Few get the credit they deserve. As we enter the new year, I would...

Farm Bureau can choose to be a sore loser or part of the solution

The long and expensive fight by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Fertilizer Institute and their allies to derail the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is finally over. The Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal of a lawsuit that they had lost in both the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg and in a unanimous decision by the Third...

A wish list for the watershed

Dear Santa,

For this holiday season, I humbly ask for the following. I hope it is not an unreasonable list. It certainly doesn’t seem so to me. After all, this is 2015 in the United States of America, a country which is quick to tell every other country in the world what they should and should not do.

EPA needs to act on states’ inability to reach nutrient goals

Since 2010, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has applauded the transparency, accountability and consequences built into the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. But like any three-legged stool, take one leg away and it falls.

It is the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council’s job to establish the policies and financing for the restoration and protection of the Bay and its living resources...

CBF’s new Brock center in VA goes off power, water grids

Last November, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation “unplugged” the new Brock Environmental Center from the power grid as part of the center’s grand opening festivities in Virginia Beach. It was admittedly a purely symbolic gesture — the building remains hooked to the local electric utility.

But we wanted to declare to the world our intention to operate this cutting-edge center using...

A better environment is a proven path to a better economy

At the beginning of October, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation released a new report that puts to rest the age-old debate of the environment versus the economy. This report, The Economic Benefits of Cleaning Up the Chesapeake, clearly demonstrates that they are simply two sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other.

Nature provides many benefits to the region that...

Bay jurisdictions must not fall behind on cleanup actions, goals

This year is a critical time for Bay restoration efforts. It is a critical time politically, too. Maryland and Pennsylvania will elect governors, the District of Columbia will elect a new mayor, and Virginia’s Gov. Terry McAuliffe is in his first year in office. Together, these elected officials must implement the programs and policies that either will, or will not, reach the...

Drilling in the Marcellus Shale must proceed with caution

By now, we all know that much of the Chesapeake Bay watershed lies atop the Marcellus Shale formation, arguably the granddaddy of natural gas supplies in the United States.

Estimates of the economic value of this gas, the need for cleaner burning domestic fuels and the potential for job and wealth creation in some of the economically challenged rural regions of the mid-Atlantic...

Let Obama know how you feel about the Bay cleanup

The president-elect of the United States, Barack Obama, will have enormous power to help or hurt our fight to save the Chesapeake Bay. We all need to be part of a campaign to encourage him to help.

If anyone doubts the crucial role the president and his cabinet play in the health of the nation's largest estuary, witness the last eight years as proof.

In the 1980s and 1990s,...

Reasonable assurance is a requirement, not an option in Bay’s restoration

Last spring, Virginia and Maryland released their draft Clean Water Act Section 303 (d) "dirty waters" lists. The Chesapeake Bay and many of its tidal tributaries remained categorized as "impaired," officially triggering the need to develop a Baywide Total Maximum Daily Load.

Some say the Bay TMDL will be a distraction from ongoing Bay restoration efforts. Others believe it could...

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About William C. Baker

William C. Baker is president and CEO of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a nonprofit environmental group whose mission is to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.


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