From: John Page Williams – ext. 2041 <JPWilliams@cbf.org>
Date: Thu, May 25, 2017 at 4:10 PM
Subject: Anglers for Clean Water Update
To: "John Page Williams – ext. 2041" <JPWilliams@cbf.org>
Cc: Chris Moore <CMoore@cbf.org>, Allison Colden <AColden@cbf.org>, "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>, Ann Jurczyk <AJurczyk@cbf.org>, Anna Mudd <AMudd@cbf.org>, Dave Slater <DSlater@cbf.org>
Hello Anglers for Clean Water—
I hope your 2017 season has gotten off to a good start. The weather has certainly played by a new set of rules this year, in both temperature and rainfall. By all accounts, migratory rockfish spawned early and headed out to the Atlantic. Bay water from north to south seems to be carrying more algae and less clarity than last year, but crabs sloughed on time early this month, when the locust trees bloomed, underwater grasses are growing strong in many places (http://web.vims.edu/bio/sav/
The progress is seriously encouraging, since scientists say they are seeing signs of overall recovery independent of weather effects, but we still have a lot of work to do. The grades on Bay health reports from CBF (State of the Bay Report 2016), the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership, and the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science are C’s, much better than the previous F’s and D’s but hardly Honor Roll. The progress shows that the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is working, but we’ve got eight-and-a-half more years to go on it. This year brings the Bay Program’s Mid-point Assessment, or Mid-term Exams for the Bay Cleanup as Chesapeake Quarterly, the magazine of the Maryland Sea Grant College puts it. The current issue focuses on the ecosystem models that the Bay Program uses to focus and guide research and restoration throughout the six Bay states and the District of Columbia.
At the same time, both the Chesapeake Bay Program and Sea Grant are zeroed out in the President’s 2018 budget proposal released last week. Yes, ZERO. It claims to return “local” programs to the states while disregarding the need for federal coordination, support, and oversight and for regional, multi-jurisdictional programs like the Bay cleanup and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which involves eleven states and two Canadian provinces. Fortunately, this budget proposal is not the final word. Congress will be building the real budget over the next several months.
Obviously, the deep cuts in the proposal to the Bay Program, Sea Grant, and more (especially to NOAA, the Department of Interior, and the Department of Agriculture) would cripple the momentum that we have finally established here, as they would in the Great Lakes and other areas. Several national organizations including the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and BoatU.S. will advocate strongly to restore funding for clean water.
So will CBF, along with regional partners from the Great Lakes, Puget Sound, and San Francisco Bay. And we’ll need your voices. The angling community carries weight with legislators. Stay tuned next month for ways that you can help.
Best regards, John Page
PS If you’re interested in underwater grass beds, please reply to this e-mail with Grasses in the subject line. There will be some opportunities for private citizens to help the VA Institute of Marine Science and the MD Department of Natural Resources with surveys of grass beds, using an online field guide, maps, and a phone app. And the more you know about these beds (including locations), the easier it is to fish them. I’m working on a short primer on that very subject. Let me know if you’re interested.
Capt. John Page Williams
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
6 Herndon Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21403
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