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2012 Chesapeake Season

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How We Got Here

by By Alan Girard

The Many Names of Chesapeake Bay Restoration

by Claudia Friedetzky
Call it what you will—Bay pollution diet, Bay total maximum daily load (or TMDL), Chesapeake Bay restoration, or watershed implementation plan (or WIP)—all these terms describe the most ambitious watershed restoration process ever undertaken in the United States.

Letter from the Chair Changes and Challenges

by David O’Leary
Change is all around us— changes in the weather, in politics, and in many aspects of our personal lives. We meet new people, start new jobs, and experience changes in our families. Fewer than four years ago, Obama was elected President, and optimism around the potential for change increased. Within two years, the rise of the “Tea Party” also heralded a different kind of change, and the next election is coming up soon.

What Happened During the 2012 Maryland General Assembly Session

by David O’Leary and Sarah Peters
Environmental issues were prominent during the General Assembly this year, including key decisions about the state’s energy future and efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Other big issues received significant attention, including marriage equality, and, of course, the state budget. In a short ninety-day session, most decisions on these bills came down to the last week or two—and frequently the last day or the last hour!

Legislative Review 2012

by Sarah Peters

The Hidden Cost of Energy: Water

by By James McGarry
The American Water Works Association estimates that the average U.S. household uses approximately 127,000 gallons of water every year. That may seem like a lot, but do you know how much additional water you use every day just to turn on the lights? Everybody has heard about air pollution, climate change, and fossil-fuel depletion, but the silent victim of America’s insatiable energy demand is our water resources.

Patriotism Agriculture and Phase II WIPs

by Tim Junkin
My father was a pilot who flew off an aircraft carrier in the Pacific and fought in every naval air engagement from Midway Island to the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, where the Japanese fleet was destroyed. Seventy-five percent of his original squadron was lost in that effort. His skipper later published a book with photos taken from the cockpits of Corsairs; aerial pictures of torpedoed destroyers; Japanese carriers on fire; and American Hellcats flaming into the sea. As I grew up my father rarely spoke of that time. Once or twice, though, with the power that only such an experience can bestow, he’d quietly talk about patriotism, about love of country.

Loaded Landscapes—Empty Waters

by Mattawoman Watershed Society
This spring marks two disquieting milestones in our flight from sustainability.First, anglers in Maryland are now prohibited from keeping their catch of river herring. The moratorium follows one initiated in 1982 for their cousins, the American and hickory shad. Then, the Atlantic sturgeon was granted federally endangered status, a grim step that echoes the shortnose sturgeon’s declaration decades ago. All are migratory fish that once were plentiful in Chesapeake Bay waters. But none more than river herring, which with the shad once surged in unimaginable numbers from the ocean to spawn each spring in our local rivers and streams, and fed alike wildlife and people, from Native Americans to recent generations.

How Growing Smarter Can Achieve Clean Water Goal

by Claudia Friedetzky
The largest estuary in North America, the Chesapeake Bay, was once the most productive in the world. H.L. Menken called it an “immense protein factory.” But pollution generated by nearly 17 million people now living in the 64,000-square-mile watershed has left the Bay an ecosystem dangerously out of balance.

Watershed Moment for Prince George's County?

by Tom Dernoga
The Prince George’s Sierra Club group has taken great interest in environmental issues relating to waterways in the county. Virtually all of the county’s major waterways (Anacostia, Patuxent, and Piscataway) are impaired, and have been so for many years.

Blue Crabs Depend on Healthy Bay

by Lauren Donelly
The blue crab is an iconic symbol of the Chesapeake Bay and of Maryland itself. Since 1990, the sheer number of both juvenile and harvestable crabs in the Chesapeake Bay drastically decreased from a population of 791 million to 260 million in 2007.

The Future of Good Jobs Is Green

The jobs picture and the future looked green to the Sierra Club’s Maryland Delegation to the fifth annual Good Jobs Green Jobs (GJGJ) conference, with a focus on wind energy and other renewable energy sources and job opportunities in renewable energy, solar power and forest products industries. The GJGJ conference is co-sponsored by BlueGreen Alliance, the national Sierra Club, and numerous labor organizations and businesses. This year the conference has been held regionally—the Southeast, West Coast, Northeast, and Midwest—in order to encourage new and diverse attendance.

Tick Talk

by Fred Sypher
Spring is here and you want to get outside and hike in the woods or work in the yard, just enjoying the great outdoors before the bugs come out. Not so fast! First, let’s talk ticks, specifically the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) that most people call a deer tick. Black-legged ticks can carry three diseases including Lyme disease, the leading tick-associated disease in the United States.


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