r, to paraphrase Dickens: These are
the best of times; these are the worst
As 2014 unfolded, we began to think that
the stars were aligned perfectly: political,
scientific; local, federal; rural, urban—all
in support of the
Real momentum for
saving the Bay and
all of its rivers and
streams was finally
at hand. Best of all,
success stories of
quality, restored habitat, and surging fish
and shellfish populations were appearing
even in the most cynical media.
Yes, there was litigation filed by the nation’s
biggest and most politically active agricultural industry lobbying associations. But
their lawsuit was rejected by federal judge
Sylvia Rambo in her 98-page opinion last
September. Claims denied. Case dismissed.
So for the first time in CBF’s nearly 50-year
history, we spoke of the very real possibility of a saved Bay, in our lifetimes! But a
month later, the Farm Bureau was appealing Judge Rambo’s decision. Then came the
announcement on February 3rd— 21 attorneys general, including Patrick Morrissey
of West Virginia, a Bay state, had joined the
lawsuit in a renewed, and more expensive
(now at taxpayers’ hands), legal appeal.
What’s worse, the action came with a
renewed political campaign of angry
rhetoric, polarizing the community with
tired, old complaints about government
overreach and environmental zealots.
The crime? Simply using the best science
to pursue clean water by spreading the
all, so that no one
sector is unfairly
In spite of all this,
however, these are
still the best of
times. The diversity
and passion of those
who refuse to be
intimidated by such bullying is nothing
short of inspirational. See page 9 for a
description of those who are actively supporting the Blueprint in court.
At CBF we are energized by the opposition
and buoyed by the supporters. Our staff,
undeterred, continues to do what they do
best—put our members’ generous support
to work defending and implementing the
Clean Water Blueprint, providing field
instruction to tens of thousands of students
and teachers annually, nurturing student
leaders, restoring world-class fisheries and
exceptional habitat, and always telling it
like it is to inform and motivate the public
to advocate for clean water.
To add to our optimism, all of us at CBF
witnessed a startling glimpse of the
future recently. First, a group of 10 ambi-
tious, thoughtful, and positive University
of Virginia students spent an entire week
of their spring break volunteering for
CBF. You will find their story on page 7
of this issue.
Next, a group of 10 equally ambitious,
thoughtful, and positive University of
Maryland students also decided to forego
spring break to volunteer their services.
And recently, I received—unsolicited—a
letter from seven Junior Girl Scouts from
Baltimore County and a copy of their letters (page 17) to the 21 attorneys general
who filed a brief in support of the appeal of
These students have clearly tipped the balance for us. These are the best of times.
To those who would rather spend their
money suing to derail the best chance in a
half century to save the Bay, we say join us.
Stop the fighting. Spend your money on
something positive. Let’s work together to
achieve clean water for everyone.
We have a long way left to go, but this is the
moment in time. We must seize it.
Go to CBF’s website cbf.org/actioncenter to
see how you can help.
CBF President Will Baker
The diversity and passion
of those who refuse to
be intimidated by such
bullying is nothing short
Why is it that Saving the Bay
is Not a Straight Line?