Proposed Regulations are Encouraging
New regulations confirm
to implementing the
Clean Water Blueprint.
Maryland recently proposed several regulations and new permit requirements that could
reduce pollution significantly from septic systems, farms, and city streets. This is encouraging news and another indication that
Maryland is working to implement its Clean
Water Blueprint for the Chesapeake Bay.
such natural shorelines built in an urban
neighborhood in the state.
One proposed regulation would require new
homes built with septic systems to use the
best available technology, capable of reducing nitrogen discharge from septic systems
by 50 to 70 percent.
A second regulation seeks to better manage
the way all sludge and manure are applied to
the land. For instance, the new rules would
prohibit the spreading of manure and
biosolids on farm fields during the winter
when crops don’t grow and absorb nutrients. In the winter, there is an increased risk
that much of the nutrients from the manure
ends up in nearby creeks and rivers.
Planting a living shoreline is a creative and
proven approach to protect tidal shorelines from
erosion. It substitutes for a conventional bulkhead, using native wetland plants and grasses,
shrubs, and trees to prevent waterfront erosion,
and also to filter polluted runoff from the land.
cent oyster survival rate, the highest since
1985. The Washington Post called the news “a
modern-day Lazarus story.”
Last fall, divers in the Severn determined that
oysters on CBF-constructed reefs were thriving. In May, CBF added an additional four
million spat-on-shell to those reefs to further
improve the health of the reefs.
CBF’s oyster restoration efforts in Maryland’s
Severn, Choptank, and West Rivers is buoyed this
year with several pieces of good news.
This winter, contractors built several stone sills
that act as breakwaters just offshore of the
community’s waterfront. Then in June volunteers planted over 7,000 native grasses in the
tidal area along the 640-foot waterfront.
Third, Maryland issued a new draft permit
for Baltimore City stormwater discharge. The
rule needs several substantial improvements,
but it is better than the permit in effect now.
CBF Oysters are Thriving in the
Severn, Choptank, and West Rivers
CBF was busy once again this spring planting
millions of oyster “spat” on reefs in the Severn,
Choptank, and West Rivers. Further plantings
are planned for this fall.
On the Choptank in June, CBF deployed an
additional 88 reef balls at the Cook’s Point
Oyster Sanctuary. By the end of the summer
CBF will have put about 1,200 reef balls at
the site, each serving as artificial habitat on
which oysters can grow.
For more information about CBF’s oyster
restoration efforts, visit cbf.org/oysters.
Public comments are being accepted through
mid-August. A regulatory oversight committee in the Maryland General Assembly has
approved the septic proposal, and is expected
to vote on the farm rule soon. The stormwater rule for Baltimore doesn’t require the committee’s approval. After public comment and
any approvals by the oversight committee,
regulations will then be finalized by the
appropriate state agency. The Baltimore and
septic rules could take effect soon afterwards.
Some of the farm rule would take effect in
2014, with the balance in effect in 2016.
The work is buoyed this year by several pieces
of good news. In Maryland, a 2011 state survey of oyster bars in the Bay revealed a 92 per-
For more information about these and other
Maryland activities, visit cbf.org/maryland.
TOM ZOLPER/CBF STAFF
CBF Creates First Urban Living
Shoreline in Annapolis
This past June, CBF
staff and volunteers
created a living shoreline in the Parkwood
neighborhood in Annapolis, one of the few
Volunteers of all ages plant native grasses along Annapolis’ Parkwood neighborhood shoreline.