Monthly Archives: September 2013

Stakeholders, Who Are They? What Do They Do? Blog #3

Many efforts are being done daily by different stakeholders to do all they can to clean the bay.

By: Kelsey Garletts

The Chesapeake Bay spreads from the bottom of Virginia all the way up to Maryland. The bay also produces drainage that flows into New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. The vast amount of coverage the bay has creates many different stakeholders. Stakeholders are the people involved with the bays pollution problems. Their involvements include ways they are invested, concerns, and if the pollution is affecting them or not. Due to the large amount of pollution the Chesapeake Bay is experiencing there are multiple different stakeholders.

First let’s discuss the groups of people who are trying to help the bay. The Chesapeake Bay program is a group of stakeholders whose main goal is to restore the bay to its starting point of clean, healthy water. This group is a regional partnership that includes partners from federal and state agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. Also included in this program are staff members who work to restore the bay. Another group of stakeholders who are trying to clean the waters is the Chesapeake Bay foundation, whose goal is to clean the water free of contaminants. This foundation also helps to educate people about what is happening in the bay and also gather more people to assist in the clean up. The Chesapeake Bay foundation gathers schools, communities, and social groups to help work to clean the bay all around the Virginia Maryland area.  These stakeholders are the most important aspect to fighting the war against pollution in the bay.

Besides the groups trying to restore the bay, there are also groups who are clueless to the issues and are possibly creating bigger issues as well. These stakeholders are the locals and tourists. With a population of 8,185,867, Virginia’s residents are sometimes unknowingly polluting the bay. Farmers are a part of this group of stakeholders affecting the bay. The different fertilizers farmers use on their crops spread nitrogen and phosphorus into Virginia’s waterways and into the bay, causing a large amount of pollution.

The locals and residents are also considered stakeholders for many other different reasons. Due to pollution many businesses are suffering because they rely on many of the wildlife within the bay. One example of this is the oysters within the bay. During the summer I work in a seafood restaurant and seafood market that relies deeply on the oyster business, but recently issues have sprung about. Due to pollution the oyster business has been slow and the farming of oysters has been cut down to make sure we save the bay. Although this seems good for the bay it’s bad for local businesses trying to make a living. Another large business, that is a HUGE stakeholder when discussing pollution in the bay, is the fishermen. The bays fish are important to many fishing businesses that provide the bays species to businesses all over the United States. The pollution is affecting their business by slowing down the reproduction processes of fish and damaging fish’s immune system, slowly depleting the fishing industry.

A final stakeholder dealing with Chesapeake Bay pollution is a very important one, the species in the bay. The Chesapeake Bay is full of many different types of species, these are; fish, swans, mussels, clams, nutria, oysters, phragmites, and crabs. These stakeholders are being affected by the bay in harmful ways. Pollution is destroying their home slowly but surely. Once their home is destroyed they will no longer exist and many industries will diminish because of this.

Stakeholders play a large role in the bay itself. They help clean up the bay, live in the bay, pollute the bay, and survive from the bays resources. The Chesapeake Bay has many different types of stakeholders but the ones I listed above seem most important when dealing with pollution. Since the bay has many different stakeholders its importance is known and pollution needs to be put to an immediate stop. We need to educate those polluters and help those who are making attempts to clean the bay so businesses, wildlife, and locals can have their bay back!

Works Cited

Valente, Jenna. “Ten Invasive Species of the Chesapeake Bay.” Chesapeake Bay Program. Chesapeake Bay Program, 22 Apr 2013. Web. 27 Sep 2013. <http://www.chesapeakebay.net/blog/post/ten_invasive_species_of_the_chesapeake_bay>.

 

“Chemical Contaminents.” Chesapeake Bay Program. Chesapeake Bay Program, n.d. Web. 27 Sep 2013. <http://www.chesapeakebay.net/issues/issue/chemical_contaminants>.

 

Staff, . “Dead Zones.” Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Chesapeake Bay Foundation, n.d. Web. 27 Sep 2013. <http://www.cbf.org/about-the-bay/maps/pollution/dead-zones>.

Where do these pollutants come from???

Here are the oysters located in the Chesapeake Bay, which are still being polluted on a daily basis.

By: Kelsey Garletts

                   Thousands of years ago the Chesapeake Bay was formed from melting ice caps and river runoffs. Approximately 5,000 years ago was the first oysters began to colonize in the bays waters. It wasn’t until the 1860’s when everything began going downhill. Pollution, the scary, scary word, first came into play around 1860 when people began building sewage systems that sent waste run off directly into the bay. Not only was that a pollution issue but also the newly formed coal burning industries blew mass amounts of smoke into the air eventually seeping pollutants into waterways.

                It wasn’t until the 1900’s when this pollution was noticed. How? The popular oyster population was decreasing rapidly. At first the reason seemed unknown then questions began to form. What was causing this? Scientists began testing and researching exactly what human activity was doing to the bays health.

                This research seemed pushed aside for a few years while more cities grew and more wastewater and storm water systems kept being built, which were constantly dumping the runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. However around 1910 people decided to put a stop to the pollution and built wastewater and storm water filters to clean the water before entering the bay.

                This solution seemed fixed for a while until America began to grow rapidly. More and more industries were being built and more and more Americans minds steered away from the bay and onto industry. The 1940s introduced a new pollution to the waterways. FERTILIZER. American became reliant on crops and money from crops. Crops seemed much more important than keeping the bay clean. The fertilizers people were now using on their fields and lawns were actually causing more damage to the bay. Around this same time the idea of “fishing” increased and became very popular and a new industry for America to take on. America didn’t realize that if our water isn’t healthy then this industry would not prosper.

                1950 scientists began discovering some very interesting things in the bay. “Dermo” and “MSX” were found and were defined as diseases that kill oysters. Once these diseases were found Clean Water Acts were created to help maintain the bay and prevent diseases from spreading. Although polluted runoff was still entering the bay and still are entering the bay.

                Where are the pollutants coming from today? As unsurprising as this is they are still coming from runoff and fertilizers. Chemical pesticides that are in these fertilizers, which are used to kill bugs and weeds, are now entering the bay and killing the health of the bay. These pesticides kill the immune systems of fish, harm the development of intersex conditions in fish, and impair the reproduction of fish eating birds.

                This issue is very prevalent around the tidewater region but yet seems to be ignored by many. Pollution to the Chesapeake Bay dates back a few hundred years and still today the bay is being polluted. In order to save our industries and prevent human illness something needs to be done.

Works Cited

“Bay History.” Chesapeake Bay Program. Chesapeake Bay Program, n.d. Web. 19 Sep 2013. <http://www.chesapeakebay.net/history>.

What Are We Swimming In? (Blog #1)

The Chesapeake Bay is a popular tourist destination in Virginia, specifically Virginia Beach. The beaches surrounding the bay are not heavily packed and the water is calm enough to have a relaxing and fun day at the beach. Families come from all over to spend days at the bay and hours in the water. However, little do these families know, the waters their families are swimming in are full of many different dangerous aspects. Immediately you may think of wildlife dangers but those are the least of your worries.

The social issue I would like to discuss is the constant pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. Pollution is a word that many people push past and ignore on a daily basis. This is because they know many of the technologies or means of travel we use often cause pollution to our world and they feel there is nothing they can do about it. People also ignore the fact that our waterways we swim, drink, bathe, and do many other activities in are also heavily polluted but still continue to thrive in them. The Chesapeake Bay is being constantly polluted on a daily basis and the knowledge people have of this pollution is slim to none, which is a scary thought.

I came across a wonderful website titled, “Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Saving a National Treasure” that described the main ways the Chesapeake Bay is being polluted. These ways are by nitrogen and phosphorus run-off. Nitrogen and phosphorus are two key nutrients the bay needs to survive, but too much of these nutrients damage the water quality. These nutrients come from many unsuspected places that people need to be more educated about. Animal feed lots, sewage treatment plants, and polluted runoff from cropland in urban and suburban areas are the main locations where some of these pollutants come from. About 1/3 of the nitrogen going into the waters comes from a well known location, vehicles. Car exhaust and industrial sources pollute the air daily with nitrogen that then enters the bay. When this pollution enters the bay it forms algal blooms that are large and block sunlight from entering the bay. This decreases the amount of oxygen that forms and kills the underwater grasses. These areas in the bay have been labeled “dead zones”, where no oxygen forms, and are the locations where fish and shellfish also die and decompose. Aside from blocking oxygen, algal blooms also raise pH level in the waters which spreads and kills more bay life and prospers the growth of parasites. Besides killing bay life, these algae that form also can be toxic and sicken people who ingest the water.

Many different people can be considered stakeholders when dealing with the pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. The most important are the locals. The locals use the bay more than anyone else and have to see the damages that are occurring, but are much uninformed.  Also there are many groups and organizations that are trying all they can to clean up the bay, but it is staying a slow process. A final stakeholder is the fishermen who are slowly losing all their business due to this pollution. The pollution to the Chesapeake Bay is a very serious issue. I believe people need to be better informed of the issues and need to do everything they can to prevent future pollution. By focusing on this issue I hope to better inform the locals of the current pollution problem and also do all I can to stop the nitrogen and phosphorus runoff. After during research on my topic I hope to discover a primary source that could help me reach my ultimate goal of informing locals and the people causing the pollution, “pollutants”, about this issue. I also hope to do something about the water I swim in during the summers and hopefully clean the water for other people as well.

Works Cited

“Dead Zones.” Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Chesapeake Bay Foundation, n.d. Web. 12 Sep 2013. <http://citationmachine.net/index2.php?reqstyleid=1&mode=form&rsid=6&reqsrcid=MLAWebDocument&more=yes&nameCnt=1>.

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