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VBEC

VIRGINIA'S BAY ENVIRONMENT CONSERVASION- MISSION STATEMENT

"As citizens in Virginia beach we have an obligation to keep our city clean and healthy. We are organized to help protect our cities environmental areas, like the Chesapeake Bay, and we are dedicating ourselves to change the health of our ecosystem"

How Argriculture Effects The Bay

Healthy farms can be a key factor is sustaining the environment along with the surrounding society. Over the years in Virginia farms have steadily decreased due to increased costs, decreased consumer food dollars shared with farmers, lessened profits, and increased urban development. Preserving our farms and open is essential for our ecosystem because they act as natural fillers for our water. All throughout the watershed farmers are willing to commit to the conservation practices but can not accomplish these goals by themselves. They need government assistance like the Farm Bill to help them remain profitable and environmentally friendly.

Link to Farm Bill information-

http://www.cbf.org/about-the-bay/issues/agriculture/federal-farm-bill

Chemical Contamination in the Bay

Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams receive pollution through the wastewater, agriculture, and storm water. harmful chemicals like mercury, PCBs, and PAHs, do not break down easily and continue to flow through the environment for years, impacting fish, local birds and obviously humans. Stormwater pushes chemicals from lawns, cars and personal care products into waterways polluting our local streams.



  • Storm water runoff from our suburbs pick up oil, pesticides, and other modern chemicals as it goes across lawns, roads, and parking lots into local streams and sewage drains. This type of pollution extremely difficult to control. Once in our waters these chemicals disrupt the whole food chain in a process known as bioaccumulation. Bottom-dwelling aquatic organisms recieve contaminants while feeding. Larger fish take in these toxins when they eat the contaminated organisms. Resulting in birds, humans, and other animals eatinh these contaminated fish. You can personally help by using organic materials to clean your cars and house, along with organic shampoos and other personal care items.
  • Mercy is often released from burning coal, it pollutes waterwaysfi and can harm our local organisms in the Chesapeake region. Governments have issued statewide fish consumption advisers for Mercury for all lakes and rivers in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and for many rivers in Virginia. There has been many request to start constructing coal burning plants in Virginia and near the Cheasrpake bay, most have been shot down. Protecting the bay starts with controlling our industries.
  • High levels of contamination have come from old industrial plants like the Sparrows point steel plant in Dundalk, Maryland. Chemical contaminants were recorded in the groundwater and soil in areas of the plant and the nearby streams. This include benzene, chromium, lead, and zinc. There has been little to no clean up attempts on the plant and in the area. Our bay is effected by more than just our citizens and industries. We need the help of our neighbors Deleware and Maryland to conserve the Bay.

Effects of our land use

What happens to our land effects our rivers, stream and the bay. Increased urban development has lead to increase pollution of ground water from things such as our vehicles, homes and businesses. Our land connects us with the farms, streams, rivers leaving to other states and the bay. What goes through our land will end up in our water ways. We need to become more concincious about what we leave on the ground and what we're putting out into our environment. Cleaning up trash on the streets and roads, reducing amount of harmful chemicals you use to clean with, moving to more organic products, contributing to local markets and using a the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) are all things you can personally do to help.

Reducing pollution from our sewage

Improved sewage systems can decrease the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the bay. Maryland passed a fund on 2004 to help renovate the sewage systems to help clean up the bay. The issue is there hasn't been any serious enforcement of this cleanup and these sewage plants continue to pollute.
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