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January 10, 2022
It should come as no surprise by now that in 2021 The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay celebrated its 50th anniversary. As a recognition and a way to share our work over the years, we completed 50 unique stories. The stories included blog posts, articles, videos, audio clips, presentations, photo essays, and more.
We are thankful for the partners, staff members (both former and current), board members, and everyone else who helped us share our story. Although we recognize that our work isn’t done- it’s always nice to take a moment and reflect on our past accomplishments. Here are a few of our favorites:
The River Sojourns were week-long paddling trips that connected community members with their local waterways. Starting in the 90s, the sojourns occurred annually for about 10 years on the Susquehanna, Potomac, and Patuxent Rivers as an opportunity for people young, old, and everywhere in between to connect with nature. Staff member, Jamie Alberti reflects on her experience as staff leader on the River Sojourns and her major takeaways. Jamie encourages everyone to get outside, experience nature in any way that they can, and create some memories.
Over one-third of the land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed is either covered by development or agriculture. This poses obstacles to water quality in the form of nutrients, sediments, and other pollutants, but also to terrestrial wildlife that have little or no habitat in these settings. Luckily, both water quality and wildlife habitat issues can be addressed with one management practice: buffering streams and water bodies with forest cover.
The Alliance started planting riparian forest buffers in the early 90s and continues this work annually. If you’re interested in learning more, visit forestsforthebay.org or sign up to volunteer at allianceforthebay.org.
The first Chesapeake Bay Agreement was signed in 1983 (Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program)
In the 1960s and 70s, the environmental movement was just beginning. There was more concern about air and water pollution as people started to see the effects on their beloved Chesapeake Bay such as, loss of underwater grasses, declining oyster and crab population, and what people called “milk chocolate” rivers after a rain event. In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was released starting the discussion of environmental effects caused by the indiscriminate use of pesticides. There was a need to take action and that’s why we saw a significant increase in the number of US Environmental organizations in the 60s and 70s such as The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, and the National Wildlife Federation. 1970 also marks the beginning of “Earth Day.”
You can read the full blog post here.
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