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Cleaning the Chesapeake Bay

2009 February 19

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

As I’ve mentioned before, my weekend agenda is pretty much controlled by the activities that my youngest has scheduled. Recently, she was invited to a friend’s birthday party in Pasadena, MD. The home where they were having the party was about 45 minutes from our house. I had never been to the area and it wasn’t until we got there that we discovered the house was right on the Chesapeake Bay! There was a beautiful view of the majestic Chesapeake, the largest estuary in the nation, right at our footsteps.

I started speaking with the mom and she told me how they had recently moved into their new home. She also mentioned that she was looking forward to the spring to start gardening and planting new flowers and trees in her yard. I recommended that she plant native shrubs and trees which would help protect the Bay. Native plants reduce the need to use pesticides and fertilizers. Letting these shrubs grow densely along the waterway prevents non-point source pollution and erosion. Greenscaping techniques are beneficial anywhere you live and near a watershed these techniques have an added value.

There are several simple steps you can take at home to prevent non-point source pollution from harming such a national treasure or any watershed for that matter. As we get closer to Earth Day, we can start to think of ways to encourage our children and communities to get involved in environmental protection. The protection of our waterways is a good place to start. With spring just around the corner, there are many green activities which the entire family will enjoy.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Bob permalink
    February 22, 2009

    One item the EPA can address, and it’s rather simple with respect to the watersheds feeding the Chesapeake Bay: Local districts in Northern Virginia use mile cleaned or maintained in order to justify their usefulness. For example, if a class of volunteer team cleaned a really dirty stream for say 1/4 mile, then that is all that is registered or recorded.

    But they [volunteers] may have removed 1,000+ pounds of materials (trash, etc.) CHANGE the metrics and get real data concerning our water sheds. I’ve experienced this situation and it seems ludicrous we still are using dated metrics from the 70s!!! This is an easy one EPA and it gives realistic transparency to the ongoing efforts and what educational programs can use given the variances in trash totals. Thanks.

  2. Lina-EPA permalink*
    February 23, 2009

    Thanks for your comments. I will share with my colleagues.

  3. March 15, 2009

    This post illuminates a critical step that needs to be taken to address pollution in our nations water ways. It is not commonly understood that individual pesticide and nutrient use has had a substantive impact on our waters health. It is becoming increasingly apparent that drastic non-point source reductions are needed to meet water quality standards in a wide variety of water bodies. A public awareness campaign could aid in increasing public involvement, either through individual land use decisions, or by increasing public pressure on the agriculture community.

  4. accoladescleaning permalink
    April 1, 2014

    Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks

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