CBF’s first 50 years have been remarkable. We have advocated
for and achieved nationally heralded legislative and executive
policies. We have restored vast acreages of critical habitat, natural
filters, and oyster reefs. We have provided award-winning outdoor
environmental education to more than one million students. We
have brought litigation that has defined federal environmental
regulation for the health of local streams, rivers, and the Bay.
None of this would matter if the Bay had not improved. It has—
from a dismal D- 34 years ago to a C- on our 2016 State of the Bay report card. That’s
nowhere near good enough, but it’s moving in the right direction.
In the next five years, our goal is a C+. In 25 years, a B+. And when future leaders
celebrate CBF’s 100th anniversary, an A+, with abundant crabs, oysters, and fish;
vast expanses of underwater grasses; and clear, clean water.
To achieve these gains, we pledge to never deviate from our principles: science-driven,
non-partisan, and focused on the entire Chesapeake system—a 64,000-square-mile
national treasure spanning six states and the District of Columbia.
Our members, our trustees, and our staff make this possible. Thank you all.
William C. Baker
PHOTO BY MIKE BUSADA
Fifty years is a long time to work on one thing—saving the Bay.
But as CBF President Will Baker notes above, serious progress
has been made. So, let me thank the more than 240,000 CBF
members, volunteers, and supporters. You are the reason we
have made progress saving this national treasure. CBF members
provide a variety of important services and remarkable funding—
a lifeline for the work of CBF. Our trustees rank among the best
anywhere, offering advice, advocacy, and serious fundraising.
And the CBF staff is in a class by itself. Any not-for-profit would go to great measure
to find the “secret sauce” that defines the culture of the people who work so hard to
save the Bay. I repeat, a long time to work on one thing—and they do it all day after
day. It’s a family. They know their job and how if fits with their colleague’s work.
Will Baker is right: This year’s C- State of the Bay score is an improvement, but not good
enough. Through education, advocacy, restoration, and litigation, Will and team are
poised to guide our members and volunteers to healthier waters and a better grade.
Let’s thank them by providing even more support as Bay restoration efforts face
potential federal funding headwinds. Thank you.