General Assembly Preview
CBF will focus much of its 2013 Virginia
legislative efforts on funding measures that
advance implementing the Chesapeake
Clean Water Blueprint. CBF will advocate
for state funding to:
In the upcoming General
Assembly session, CBF will
focus on Clean Water
program is successful. Widespread acceptance
and adoption by farmers is the only means by
which this new non-regulatory approach to
improving water quality will work.”
CBF Pushes for Stricter
• Upgrade sewage treatment plants to reduce
nitrogen and phosphorus discharges.
•Provide additional state cost-share dollars
to help Virginia farmers install soil and
water conservation practices that reduce
polluted farm runoff.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Getting Farmers to Clean Water Goals
Commission is deliberating fishing rates,
catch limits, allowable fishing techniques,
and more to establish a new framework to
manage the harvest of menhaden, the “most
important fish in the sea.”
The events generated positive responses.
One county administrator said after a canoe
trip, “Thank you all for a great experience!
I learned a great deal and can now serve
as a more knowledgeable advocate for
CBF also will seek state funding to help provide outdoor environmental education to
Virginia school students.
Another CBF priority will be legislation
that brings Virginia into compliance with
the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Commission’s plan to conserve Atlantic
menhaden (see story at right). The menhaden population has plummeted to its lowest level on record, having been overfished
32 of the past 54 years.
CBF’s Virginia Office is closely tracking proposed state rules that encourage farmers voluntarily to install and maintain conservation
practices in exchange for exemption from
future Chesapeake Bay clean-up mandates.
Under the proposed rules, if farmers
employed a level of conservation practices
sufficient to achieve Virginia’s clean-water
goals–known as baseline–they would be
granted “safe harbor” from compliance with
any new pollution-reduction requirements.
For years, CBF has pushed the Atlantic States
Marine Fisheries Commission for stricter
limits on the catch to help protect the
species and maintain a critical mass of menhaden as an essential food source for striped
bass, osprey, and other Bay inhabitants.
Outings Spotlight Blueprint Efforts
Once the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries
Commission decides on a specific regulatory
regime in December, the Atlantic states must
adopt the plan. As editorialized in the
November 11, 2012 Free Lance Star newspa-
per, “It’s up to the [Virginia] General
Assembly to make sure the menhaden fish-
ery does not cease to exist.”
CBF hosted a number of canoe trips and
breakfast meetings for local citizens and
elected officials to discuss Virginia’s Clean
Water Blueprint. Paddle trips took local offi-
cials and advocates onto the Rivanna River
near Charlottesville and Chuckatuck Creek
in Suffolk. “Clean water breakfasts” were
held in Chesapeake, Hampton, and Norfolk.
CBF endorses the “safe harbor” concept but
remains concerned the proposed regulations do not ensure enough rigor, transparency, and accountability. We will continue to monitor the proposed rules and advocate for their strengthening.
CBF’s Virginia Office Wins Kudos
CBF’s Virginia staff have been honored for
promoting conservation practices that
improve water quality on farmland. The
Natural Resources Conservation Service’s
Virginia office recently presented CBF’s
Virginia Office its Earth Team Partner Award
for “effectively using volunteers to carry out
conservation efforts that support the mission
of the Natural Resources Conservation
Service and mutual goals of improving water
quality in the Chesapeake Bay.” The organization cited a large community project led by
CBF in which some 70 volunteers planted
1,200 trees on a Rockingham County farm.
As CBF Virginia Executive Director Ann
Jennings says, “Ultimately, it will be the
agriculture community that determines if this
CBF’s Virginia Office has organized canoe trips and breakfasts as venues to focus attention on the
ecological and economic importance of clean water in local creeks and rivers.
Also recently, CBF staffers Libby Norris and
Alston Horn received a “Conservation
Partner Award” from the Lord Fairfax Soil
and Water Conservation District for their
conservation work with farmers in the Smith
Creek watershed of the Shenandoah Valley.