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!
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>.