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Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Mission: The mission of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is to protect and restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the abundance and diversity of its living resources.

Community Need: The CBF is the largest conservation organization existing solely to restore the Chesapeake Bay -North America’s largest estuary. They aim to restore and sustain the Bay’s ecosystem by substantially improving the water quality and productivity of the rivers, lakes and streams that flow into the Bay with respect to water clarity, resilience of the system, and diversity and abundance of its living resources, and to maintain a high quality of life for the people of the Bay region.

Agriculture continues to be the largest source of nitrogen pollution entering the Bay. Rockingham County is the top producer of dairy and poultry in Virginia. Augusta County is ranked second in those categories and ranked first in farm acres and farm size for the state. Their Headwaters Agricultural Stewardship Project (HASP) aims to target two of Virginia’s largest concentrations of agricultural operations, continue the work of their Agricultural Stewardship Management Initiative (ASMI), and addresses two of the more polluted streams in the region.

Primary Activities: To improve water quality by reducing nutrient pollution and to train Bay constituents to take an effective role in restoration and protection of natural resources.  Their work includes environmental education, environmental restoration, advocacy on behalf of the 17 million people who live in the six-state Bay watershed, selective litigation, and strategic public communications.

Constituents Served: The CBF works with all communities within the six-state Chesapeake Bay watershed. Through their advocacy, agricultural stewardship, education, and outreach programs, they served nearly 100,000 people last year of all ages, including several hundred farmers through AG stewardship programs, more than 40,000 students, teachers, and adults in their education programs, and almost 60,000 volunteers who helped them implement agricultural best management practices, clean up hundreds of tons of waste from streams, plant several million oysters, and engage decision-makers at all levels.

Program Details: The HASP is a 3-year project supported by VA DEQ funding that focuses on two watersheds located primarily in Augusta County: Christians Creek and South River. These waterways are in violation of the state’s water quality standard for bacteria and the general standard for aquatic life use. They will install 30,000 linear feet of stream exclusion fencing, establish 23 acres of riparian buffers, convert 300 acres to rotational grazing, and restore 200 linear feet of streambank.  During 2017-18, the CBF will: install two livestock exclusion fencing systems (10,000 linear feet) and two riparian buffers (7 acres); enroll 100 acres of farmland into rotational grazing practices; maintain two existing exclusion and buffer projects; restore 70 linear feet of streambank; and host the following events: five community events about the economic and environmental benefits of AG BMPs; two Educational Field Days; two public educational presentations on AG BMPs; two volunteer workdays to help install achieve HASP goals; and, produce an annual rotational grazing calendar.

Amount Requested: $10,000

Operating Budget: $25,991,553

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