Bay Journal

Topics: Conservation + Land Use

Healthy trees, forests are great cure for what ails the Chesapeake Bay

Trees are, indeed, quite remarkable. They are integral to air and water quality as well as a source of water, mitigation for stormwater and control for erosion and sediment.

One hundred mature trees can remove 53 tons of carbon dioxide annually, along with 430 pounds of other air pollutants, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

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Keep covering Fones Cliffs (Opinion)

I would like to thank the Bay Journal for continued, in-depth coverage of the damages and violations at Fones Cliffs along Virginia’s Rappahannock River. It is clear that many citizens across the Chesapeake landscape are concerned about...

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About Conservation + Land Use

Since colonial times, no change to the Chesapeake ecosystem has been greater than the alteration of its landscape. A vast expanse of forest once absorbed most of the rainfall and held most of the sediment in place.

Over time, the forests have been replaced with farms and development, all of which have greatly increased the amount of runoff and pollution reaching streams and the Chesapeake Bay. While forests still comprise the greatest land use in the region, they have been greatly altered, consisting of smaller trees and lacking many of the species — such as American chestnut — that were common in the past.

The rapid rate of development in recent decades has accelerated the spread of impervious surfaces such as roads, roofs and parking lots, dramatically increasing runoff and degrading stream health throughout the region. Conservation efforts are underway to identify, and protect, some of the high priority landscapes and resources that remain.

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