The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum 2009

Points of View & Thoughtful Questions - Chesapeake Bay Program


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Chesapeake Bay Program

The Bay Watchers                                                                                     North Harford H.S.


We are the Chesapeake Bay Program.  Our only concern is the health of the bay.  We believe

that keeping forests around the bay healthy and large will help eliminate many of our problems.

 The forests will help prevent flooding and excess nutrients by sucking it up into the roots of

trees and plants.  Al Todd a Chesapeake Bay Program member states “Every acre of forest lost

means more nutrients entering the bay”.  We have many areas of focus such as watershed

protection, habitat protection, restoring water quality, and managing fisheries.  We try and

control the water pollution by monitoring and tracking data and computer simulations that are

used to estimate the amount of pollution entered into the bay.  Clearer, oxygen-rich waters are

the foundation of Chesapeake Bay restoration.  To restore the watershed, we focus on

restoring streamside buffers and, again, protecting the forest.  We also have developed

habitat restoration for five key species - oysters, blue crabs, American shad, striped bass and

Atlantic menhaden.  The program believes that we need to take and make more improvement in

managing our fisheries. 




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  From:   YES! - Youth Environmental Stewards - Other - SCHS                          Ask


     Have you considered where and how you will be getting the funds? Where your going to

     build the forest; and where you'll be getting the land? Also what would you be using to

     enhance the forests? (for ex. fertilizers; their going to be getting into the bay regardless?)

  From:   Charlie's Critters - Other - JWHS(T)                                                    Ask


     how do you plan on getting the money for the forest?its not going to just be given to you.

  From:   Ashby CBF - CBP_Fed - TAHS                                                                Ask


     Where are you going to get the land for a forest?  We are as a whole are increasing in

     population.  That means there is less land to go around.  However, we do believe you are

     right about saving the fish and crustaceans.

  From:   Bay Huggers - farmer - JWHS(T)                                                           Ask


     How are you getting funds for the land? If you use fertilizer to help grow the forest then

     you are hurting the bay.



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Chesapeake Bay Program

Bayside Bros                                                                                            Gonzaga College H.S.


     The Chesapeake Bay Program is extremely important because it is the main source of all our water supply in the Washington, D.C. area.  It will cost the federal government a significant

amount of money, but it is money the Chesapeake Bay Group has been allocated through

government budgets.

     If the solutions entail cleaning the Chesapeake Bay and enhancing the natural beauty, then yes

the solutions do benefit us as the Chesapeake Bay watchers.  We are most concerned with the

wellbeing of the bay and everything that lives in and around it.  By cleaning the waters more

efficiently, the animals that swim through it will no longer be sick and die from diseases.  The

forests surrounding the entire watershed will also become healthier and not only produce an

aesthetic value, but once again clean the air.  Those forests are also perfect natural defense

barriers to flooding and erosion by keeping soil in its right place.  When the Bay does become

healthy again, animals become abundant, and for those who like seafood, this is obviously a

benefactor.  The natural beauty can also attract tourism improving the economy slightly since

the Chesapeake Bay is one of the largest watersheds in the world.

     The federal governments would be able to take the cost of cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay

because they have publicly stated that their goal was to clean it up. Many creeks and small

bodies of water have been denied permits to allow the water to run into the bay because

officials do not want cause of contribute to the violation of water quality standards. The

federal governments have a little motto that goes "no cleanup schedule, no permit". They would

be able to take the cost of cleanup, and would probably be willing to help out in any area

because they seem too interested in the repairing the water quality.We at the Chesapeake Bay

 Program feel that, even though we are more involved in bay restoration than many other

programs and foundations, we could accomplish far more if we received support from other

environmental foundations as well as more funding from federal, state, and local governments. 

Even though we are a joint partnership between the mid Atlantic states and the Environmental

Protection Agency, we need more funding.  In addition, other support, whether it be financial

or actual hands on volunteers, supplies and labor, would enable our organization to have more

impact on the health of the bay and its outlying dependant habitats. 

     Increased funding would allow us to encourage more people to get involved as well has hire

more help in our programs to manage fisheries, restore bay habitats and educate surrounding

farmers, industries and townships on safe environmental practices.  Advertising and education

are the cornerstones of our activities.  Every event we organize, such as our bird walks or

nature workshops cost money but are key to increasing awareness.

     Next, our attempts to clean the bay could be better aided by better participation of the schools

systems surrounding the watershed. Education is an essential tool to combating these problems

that affect not only this but other bodies of water around the world. If awareness were more

widespread, some of these issues that we face would almost solve themselves.The “clean-up” of

 the Bay will not affect our existence because we exist on the sole purpose of purifying the

Bay in the first place.  If the bay were not to be sufficiently restored, it would not affect our

situation seeing as this program will exist until the project is seen through and through as a success.




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  From:   Eco-friendly - CBP_Fed - JWHS(F)                                                        Ask


     You talk alot about the Federal government funding your effort to clean up the bay. What do

     you think the actuall cost would be for the entire cleanup?

Response: Bayside Bros                                                                    04/15/2009


The Small Watershed Grants Program ( promotes local and individual efforts for restoration efforts. This can help foster public support and take some of the pressure off of entirely our shoulders.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust also awards many grants, "over $27 approximately 8,000 grantees" according to their website ( There are many grants that can help out.



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Chesapeake Bay Program


Volunteers                                                                                                        Riverheads H.S.


       Hello,  We are part of the Chesapeake Bay Program. We are doing a lot to let people know

about the problems in the streams and rivers that lead to the Bay. Most people do not realize all

of what they can do to help keep the water clean. In 2006, we were 23 percent toward meeting

the Chesapeake water quality goal, and then in 2007, it dropped to 21 percent. If everyone put

forth an effort, we would be able to put up forested buffers and cover crops in every field

around streams and rivers in order to keep out sediments and pollutants.

        The Chesapeake

water shed is stretched out through six states: Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania,

Virginia, and West Virginia. All of the pollutants that are in the water now are caused by those

states. Everyday that pollutants get into the water, it kills more plants and animals. Right now,

fish and shellfish levels are at half of what they are desired to be. There are also many

mammals that live on or in the Chesapeake Bay that have to deal with the nasty and over-

polluted waters. If everyone put a little effort into keeping the water clean by recycling or

putting up buffers next to your streams, it would reduce pollution and help save the inhabitants

in the water. So now that you have read what the cause and effect of water pollution in the

Chesapeake Bay, what will you do to help save your surrounding environment?



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  From:   Bass Assassians - Waterman - JWHS(T)                                                Ask


     It is great that there are groups out there trying to preserve the health of the bay. In 2006

     you were 23% short of meeting your water quality goal and 21% in 2007. In order to meet

     these goals you are going to need help from others. I believe others would be more willing to

     assist you if they had a better idea of what your plan was. What exactly do you want other

            groups to do so that your goals can be met?

       Response    Volunteers - CBP_Fed - RvrHS


                  First, you, being a waterman, could make sure that you do not take over your

             limit in fish and try healthy fishing habits like using natural baits and use durable

             fishing nets. When you use your nets make sure that they are not left in the

             water. You could also follow the regular guidelines of healthy water habitats in

             your own home. One example would be to check your septic system every three

             to six years. I have heard of some that have run for twenty years and have not

            been cleaned. Those are the ones that are usually leaking into the water.


  From:   Eco-friendly - CBP_Fed - JWHS(F)                                                        Ask


     You've giving a few ways to clean up the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, such as forested

     buffers and cover crops. Those aren't going to solve the whole problem, is there any other

     ways to make the bay a safer enviornment?




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Chesapeake Bay Program

Eco-friendly                                                                                   James Wood H.S.- Fordyce


     We the environmentalists are important to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed because we are

the people that help clean up the bay. Some solutions that we have come up with are to prevent

pollution of the bay, recycle, reduce runoff, and to stop the use of harmful pesticides.

     We as environmentalists work together to establish several different but very effective strategies to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and share our opinions with others.  We work to keep the

wildlife of the bay safe and healthy to establish a quality environment for these creatures to

live. We come up with ideas that keep the water safe and clean for the people of the bay and

the tourist of the area.

       The solution that we, the environmentalists, have come up with affects our group in two ways. The first is that all the problems that we have solved have given us the credit for cleaning up the bay and making it a safer and more enjoyable place to visit. The second was is that the people in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed won’t look at us the environmentalist as the enemies anymore.

      Approaches are the most difficult for our group, and solutions aren’t exactly a walk-in-the-park either. For our solutions they need to be well planned out and extra effort is required.

       The solutions for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay would cost us money for the supplies and time need to work on the projects. Also if there was a big project to work on it could take away time from family and other jobs.

      The solutions for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay wouldn’t only benefit us as environmentalist, but would also benefit everyone else and fish in the Bay. The water in the Bay would be a good source of drinking water and would also be clean for the people of the Chesapeake Bay and tourist to swim in. The fisherman would greatly appreciate the environment in which the fish live in because they would be healthier and wouldn’t carry around as many diseases.

      To make the people in the environmentalist group more willing to participate in cleaning up the

watershed we could have a few different things. We could pay the volunteer environmentalists

a small fee and we could offer lunch to those individuals willing to join into the group.

      If the environmentalist group was so devastated by an accident that it disappeared, there would be no balance in the watershed. The bay wouldn’t be clean and would be completely unsafe. The fish and other animals in the bay would eventually disappear and die off from the new diseases they have received.




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  From:   Chubert Inc. - Waterman - JWHS(F)                                                    Ask


     In you're pov you failed to mention solutions. You mentioned what the solutions would do but

     not what the actual solutions are.



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Chesapeake Bay Program

Bay Freaks                                                                                             Jefferson H.S.-Picard


We are the Cheseapeake Bay Program. For more than two decades this program has become

bigger and better. We cannot save the Bay on our own. We need the help of the people and our

community to step in and help.  Our importance is to work together  to come up with different 

ways to protect and improve the land and to find out new ways to convince people to keep the

Bay clean. Many people are hard to convince but, we try to make it happen. There is no single

action we can do to save the Bay. Saving the Bay includes numerous amount of people and us

trying to come up with ways so that we can be effective.  The water quality and the Bay is the

most important thing that we focus on.  Good water quality is esential  to all plants and animals

that live in the Bay or watershed.There are thirty-six strategies we came up with and there

should be cleanup plans in action in every part of the Cheseapeake Bay’s 64,000 square mile

watershed.  If farmers change the way they manage their farmland, how people treat wetlands,

reduce stormwater from streets and houses, and minimize pollution than it wll improve water

quality and habitat for the animals and plants that call the Bay watershed home. If we can

convince people too change their ways than we are on the way to getting the Bay cleaner. That

is our goal!




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  From:   The Rainbow Bunch - developer - JWHS(T)                                           Ask


     Your doing a good job on the bay  just focus on the marine fish, and plant life. With them

     being healthy and being able to mate and then focus on the clean on the bay


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Chesapeake Bay Program

Ashby CBF                                                                                                   Turner-Ashby H.S.


As part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, we are obviously extremely concerned about POV:

the current condition of the Bay.  In the 1600s, the State of the Bay Report estimated the

 health of the Bay a rate of 100 out of a 100.  Currently, they now rate the Bay a 27 out

of a 100.  If you do the math this is a rate of .1825 decrease in the health of the Bay per

year.  Continuing at the same rate with no change in any of our activities and choices, the

Bay will have a score of 0 out of a 100 in about 150 years.  We have to change the path we

 currently are following.

      The most serious problem of the Bay is pollution.  Pollution comes from a wide variety

of sources.  Some sources include:  Agriculture, Sewage-Treatment Plants, Fertilizers,

Run-Off, Construction, and Urban Areas.  The two types of pollution are point source and

non-point source.  Most of the pollution in the Bay is from non-point source pollution. 

Nitrogen is the worst pollution problem of the Bay.  When there is an abundance of

nitrogen, it causes algae to bloom.  Algae blooms block sunlight to plant life on the floor of

the Bay.  This action prevents the growth of plants.  The official name for this area is the

Dead Zone.  Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus degrades the water quality of the Bay.

      We believe to reduce pollution a lot of activities have to happen.  The Federal

Government needs to increase the number of laws used to decrease pollution.  There

should be severe consequences for anyone who breaks these laws.  Solutions include

upgrading sewage treatment plants, reducing fertilizer use, using nitrogen removal

technology wherever it is possible, and installing cover crops.  We also believe that to

return the Chesapeake Bay to its former glory, we should re-install old ideas that had a

positive effect.  These ideas include:  forested buffers, wetlands, and resource lands.  All

these ideas absorb and filter nutrients.  We will get our plans financed by private sources

and the Federal Government.  Our goal is to save the Bay because of its environment and

economical importance.




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Chesapeake Bay Program

thefeds                                                                                                  Jefferson H.S.-Picard


The Chesapeake Bay is a national and local treasure. It is an important source of livelihood, POV:

recreation and cultural heritage for the region. Most of the bays pollutants are nutrients

and sediments. The main sources for these pollutions come from agriculture, urban and

suburban runoff, sewage treatment plans, and air pollution.  It is very important that we

find solutions for cleaning up the bay due to the fact that we have only met 21% of our

goals. The pollution that comes from agriculture is usually runoff from fields. When there

is a lot of rain or even a flood the water washes all of the sediment into streams and

rivers. A lot of the bacteria from the fields also gets into the streams. If the bacteria level

 of the stream gets very high, it could be very dangerous for people to swim in it, which

would take a lot of the recreation out. Many of the toxics that enter the bay enter through

 the tributaries. They come from wastewater, air pollution, and storm water. There are two

 different types of chemicals, metal and organic. A type of organic chemical is PCB’s,

Polychlorinated Biphenyls, and a type of metal is mercury. Airborne nitrogen comes from

plants who release chemicals into the air. Nitrogen either falls into the bay or falls on the

ground and is washed into the bay. Nitrogen also comes from cars, trucks and many other

types of vehicles such as planes or boats. 

      Agriculture was identified as the leading pollutant of the bay. Nitrogen causing 48%,

phosphorus causing 60%, and sediment is 70%. These loads definitely need to be dropped

to save the bay. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed  Model estimated that  between 1985 and

 2002, West Virginia nitrogen loads dropped 5%, phosphorus increased about  1%, and

sediment decreased 17%.  In the same period, the agricultural sector reduced nitrogen

(14%) and phosphorus (6%) loads due to farmers’ aggressive implementation of agricultural

 Best Management Practices. We are going to try our best to organize all of our resources

to fix all of the bay’s problems.




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