GOOD TO KNOW
Here’s a quick and dirty rundown on the Chesapeake Bay situation and related terminology:
- The Chesapeake Bay watershed (the area with water draining into the Bay) includes parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and all of Washington DC – about a 64,000 square mile area!
- A healthy Bay means the water contains a balanced amount of nutrients and normal fluctuations in salinity and temperature. The water needs to have enough dissolved oxygen so fish, crabs and other aquatic life can breathe and few suspended sediments so underwater grasses receive enough sunlight to grow.
- The current conditions in the Bay are not healthy because of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution. Rain, which leads to stormwater runoff, causes these pollutants to get into local streams, creeks, rivers and the Bay itself. Get the full picture of waterway impairments in Hampton Roads here.
- To improve water quality, the flow of pollution must be reduced. We can do this in two ways: by reducing the amount of stormwater runoff we create and by reducing the amount of pollution in the stormwater we do create.
- Each locality within the Bay watershed is required to draft a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP), which details how localities will meet the diet by working in partnership with the agricultural community, wastewater treatment plants and developers.
- A clean, healthy Bay means improved public health, fishing, recreation opportunities, economic opportunities and more!
Making small changes in your everyday activities can help improve the Bay.
GOOD TO DO
- Stay informed about the latest water quality news.
- Support programs and organizations working to improve local water quality.
- Pledge to make your home a “star.” Help protect local waterways by becoming a Bay Star Home or joining one of the many residential watershed protection programs in Hampton Roads. Find one in your neighborhood.
- Follow best management practices in your home and yard to protect local water quality.
- Pump out, don’t dump out your boat’s sewage holding tanks. It is illegal to discharge untreated sewage from boats in any Virginia waterway.
- Contact your local stormwater representative to inquire about flooding, stormwater, storm drains, or to report illegal dumping into the storm drain or street.