That’s the question 15 groups from the Chesapeake Bay watershed’s six states and the District of Columbia answered for their local political leaders through the Chesapeake Bay Program’s first-ever Local Action Video Showcase this spring. The videos showed citizens across the watershed working to do their part to restore the Bay. From river cleanups and rain garden plantings to best management practices and living shorelines, all of these groups are pitching in to help protect the Bay and their local rivers.
The groups’ projects were showcased at the Chesapeake Executive Council meeting on June 3 in Baltimore. The Local Action Video Showcase was an opportunity for local groups to show the Executive Council their conservation and restoration work and reinforce the idea that the watershed’s 17 million residents really can make a difference in the Bay restoration effort.
Local Action Video Showcase from Chesapeake Bay Program on Vimeo.
One group from Baltimore, the Herring Run Watershed Association, showed off their LEED Gold certified building, which employs composting toilets and various recycled building materials. The group aims to educate the public not only about the effects they have on their local waterways, but on the Chesapeake Bay as a whole.
Evergreen Elementary School in Leonardtown, Md., also showcased their green building, which has a green roof, rainwater cisterns used to fill up toilets, and photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine used to power outlets in the school. By exposing students to green practices from a young age, the school hopes the students will become the next generation of stewards needed to restore the Bay.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science submitted two videos, showing a living shoreline project and the removal of “ghost” crab pots that have been plaguing the Chesapeake Bay.
And the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News showed its efforts to keep the water clean, including a trash pickup and installing forested shoreline buffers.
But those in Maryland and Virginia aren’t the only ones working to make a difference. There are many restoration projects taking place in all six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Troy Bishop with the Upper Susquehanna Coalition and the Madison County, N.Y., Soil and Water Conservation District gave Executive Council members a virtual tour of his farm, showing off the grazing and best management practices he uses. He showed that simple and practical changes can really make a difference.
One teacher in West Virginia and her students helped install rain gardens with the Opequon Creek Project Team. As an environmental science teacher, she emphasizes to her students the importance of working locally to improve the environment. In this case, they rain gardens they helped plant will trap polluted runoff before it reaches Opequon Creek, which runs to the Potomac River and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.
Students in York, Pa., worked with the Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna to plant forested buffers along a creek. The group not only gets students physically involved in restoration activities, but emotionally involved by seeing how they are helping the environment by planting trees and creating wildlife habitat.
Other videos submitted for the Local Action Video Showcase are:
Izaak Walton League of America, Gaithersburg, Md.
Environmental education and stream cleanup
Magothy River Association, Severna Park, Md.
Oyster restoration and education
Riders in the Environment Improving Native Shorelines, Royal Oak, Md.
Stewardship and planting
Kennard Elementary School, Centreville, Md.
Stewardship and planting
Manassas Park Elementary School in Northern Virginia has installed a rainwater collection system and other great green features that are helping the environment and the Chesapeake Bay. Check out this video to learn more about the school's awesome efforts!