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What a Year It Has Been!

Underwater grasses expanded 21 percent. The blue crab population jumped 35 percent. The Bay's native oyster population, a critical species that naturally filters the Bay's water, is rebounding. For the past two years, there have been no documented occurrences of "anoxia" in the Bay or its tributaries—that is, water completely devoid of oxygen, due to pollution—a first since scientists began tracking this metric in 1985! These are promising signs of the Bay's recovery that show what is possible if we keep moving forward.

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educate

A Student Makes a Difference

Meet Anna Pauletta, a high school senior from central Pennsylvania, an officer in her local chapter of Future Farmers of America, and one of CBF's most dedicated student volunteers. "I don't try to inspire other students. I just do what I do," she says. Learn about her involvement in CBF's new Mentors in Agricultural Conservation program, and how she is inspiring other students to consider the environment in their future careers.

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Inspired 40,000 students, teachers, and adults through hands-on, outdoor educational experiences.

Served 7,000 students from disadvantaged communities by working directly with Title I schools.

Raised public awareness by appearing in the media an average of 4.5 times per day and growing our Facebook following by 62 percent.

advocate

Saving Mattawoman Creek

Maryland state scientists have called Mattawoman Creek "what a restored Chesapeake Bay would look like," yet the creek was nearly destroyed by a proposed four-lane highway and plans to pave over rural Charles County with subdivisions and strip malls. Read the story of a group of committed advocates who are working to transform their community into a model of smart growth, protecting some of the Bay's most pristine places.

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Built bipartisan support for the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the Bay cleanup plan, in the U.S. Congress.

Urged Pennsylvania's leaders to make clean water a priority. As a result, the Commonwealth's House of Representatives declared May 2016 "Clean Water Counts Month," signifying an intention to provide funding for projects that restore Pennsylvania's waters.

Promoted science-based management of the Bay's fisheries, including blue crabs, Atlantic menhaden, and sturgeon—a species threatened with extinction—among others.

litigate

The Bay Wins!

"I think one of the most important things we can do as lawyers for the Bay is to try to make the law real for people," says Jon Mueller, CBF's Vice President of Litigation. This year, Mueller and his team celebrated the resolution of a lawsuit that stretched on for five long years—a case that held the future of the Chesapeake Bay in the balance.

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Confirmed the legality of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, with the U.S. Supreme Court's denial of the Farm Bureau's appeal, concluding five years of litigation.

Helped negotiate an agreement for fish passage at Conowingo Dam that will enable more migratory fish to make it upstream to their spawning grounds.

Reduced agricultural pollution in Virginia through a lawsuit that drew attention to the need to help farmers implement conservation practices.

restore

Día de la Bahía: A Community Pitches In

This year, CBF held its first-ever bilingual Bay cleanup event, Día de la Bahía, or Day of the Bay. Held at a park near downtown Richmond, Virginia, more than 50 volunteers spent a morning restoring a stretch of the James River, beautifying their community and learning more about how they can help Save the Bay.

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Worked with 386 farmers and landowners to install conservation practices and reduce agricultural pollution.

Planted more than 17,000 trees across the watershed.

With partners, completed work on Harris Creek, a 350-acre oyster reef on Maryland's Eastern Shore that The Washington Post described as the largest oyster restoration project in the world.

innovate

Designed to Inspire: The Brock Environmental Center

The Brock Environmental Center reached new heights in 2016, welcoming tens of thousands of visitors and achieving the prestigious Living Building Challenge Certification. The award-winning facility showcases CBF's innovative prowess, combining renewable energy, sustainable materials, and climate change readiness into a powerful educational tool.

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get involved

You Can Help Save the Bay

The support of our members makes all of our work possible, from our environmental education programs, to planting oysters and trees, to advocating for a science-based approach to reducing pollution. Please support CBF and become a member today. Together, we can create a healthy, vibrant Chesapeake Bay, for us and future generations.

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Photo Credits: 1. Jay Fleming, 2. Loren Barnett/CBF Staff, 3. Loren Barnett/CBF Staff, 4. Jennifer Herzog/CBF Staff, 5. CBF Staff, 6. Kenny Fletcher/CBF Staff, 7. Prakash Patel/SmithGroupJJR, 8. Jay Fleming, 9. Michael Roane.