Bay Journal

Topics: People + Society

Former VA governor dies; Baliles laid a foundation for Bay progress

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Advocates say the Chesapeake Bay would not be where it is today without the influence of former Virginia Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, who pushed for pivotal Bay policies in the late 1980s. He died Oct. 29 at his home in Charlottesville, VA, at the age of 79.

During his tenure as Virginia’s governor from 1986 to 1990, Baliles helped craft a multistate Chesapeake Bay Agreement that was the first to detail numeric goals for reducing nutrient pollution. 

“Gov. Baliles, I think, is credited for laying the foundation for a lot of the environmental improvements that Virginia has seen over the last 30 years,” said Joe Maroon, executive director of the Virginia Environmental Endowment.

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About People + Society

From individual actions, to our collective impact as a society, we can influence the environment in positive or negative ways. Many individuals lead through example, by altering their everyday habits to reduce their impact or by volunteering to clean up and restore local streams and ecosystems.

But the cumulative impacts of the 17 million people who live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed poses an ongoing threat to the Bay and its tributaries.

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