By Will Baker, CBF President

It all comes down to Saving the Bay. Simple as that.

The Bay supports our livelihoods and our homes. It provides our first line of defense from storms and climate change. It inspires us with amazing sights.

Bottom line, the Bay demands we save it.

And we are! The most recent annual survey revealed the blue crab population in the Bay rebounded to its highest level since 2012, with an estimated total of nearly 600 million crabs. Clean water, healthy grass beds, and functioning oyster reefs are key to the crabs’ success. The Bay’s dead zone is shrinking. Bay grasses, despite record rainfall in 2018, are showing signs of resilience. Monitoring reports show oysters flourishing on restored reefs. The Bay is making history!

The Bay is improving, but there are still challenges that require our attention. © Bill Portlock

But we can’t stop now. Some of our biggest challenges lie ahead. Human-induced climate change is a real and immediate threat to the Bay’s health, and it promises to make our restoration work harder. Stronger and more frequent storms mean more pollution on the horizon. Rising sea levels already erode the Bay’s shorelines and put communities at risk. As more people call the watershed home, development threatens valuable open space and increases polluted runoff. Agriculture, while improving, is still a source of pollution to local streams and the Bay.

Resources to help address these challenges are under attack at the federal level. The Trump administration continues to cut funds, roll back protections, and deny the very existence of climate change.

At CBF, we will not back down. In Pennsylvania, we have set a goal of planting 10 million new trees as pollution reducing buffers by 2025. In Maryland and Virginia, we formed the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance to add 10 billion oysters to the Bay. Across the watershed, we continue to advocate for funding and programs that reduce pollution, advance restoration, and safeguard progress.

Together, we are Saving the Bay. Thank you!

Saving the Bay through restoration, advocacy, education, and litigation. www.cbf.org

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