The Chesapeake Bay Watershed (Photo: cbf.org)

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed (Photo: cbf.org)

 

Agriculture is one of the leading causes of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, a sprawling system of rivers that congregate in one shallow tidal basin. Commercial fertilizers and manure applied by farmers to their fields can run into streams and rivers, eventually making their way into the Bay. Chemicals like nitrogen and phosphorus are found in these fertilizers, which can negatively impact the water quality of the Bay. Our proximity to the Bay makes proper management of our land critical to the health of our natural ecosystems. At Harborview Farms, we are strive to protect the Chesapeake Bay by closely monitoring our fertilizer applications, planting cover crops, limiting equipment use in the field, and by working with various environmental agencies to keep them informed of our conservation efforts and to learn how we can better conserve the environment.

 

 

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The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's mission is to save the Bay, and keep it saved. In terms of agriculture, the CBF continues to advocate for conservation programs to establish on-the-ground projects that limit polluting runoff: stream buffers, cover crops, rotational grazing, and other conservation practices. The Board of the CBF has visited Harborview to observe our conservation efforts, and the CBF helps provide funding for some of our cover crops. Learn more about the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

At the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, we often say a well-managed farm is the best land use that we can have in the bay watershed, and I think that [Harborview Farms] exemplifies that.
— Alison Prost, Executive Director at CBF
 
 photo Credit: www.shorerivers.org

photo Credit: www.shorerivers.org

ShoreRivers is a non-profit organization that was first formed in 2017 when several local river associations merged. It aims to improve the health of Eastern Shore Waterways such as the Chester, Choptank, Sassafras, Miles, and Wye Rivers through a science-based combination of advocacy, restoration, and advocacy. Trends in water quality and pollution sources are tracked at nearly 200 stations to optimize restoration efforts. This data is also used to advocate for strong water quality laws. ShoreRivers also works closely with students and teachers to educate them about the importance of waterway health. Additionally, ShoreRivers works jointly with farmers to solve problems relating to nutrient and sediment loss by developing and testing new technologies that are beneficial for farmers and our waterways including nutrient-removing bioreactors, buffer zones, and encouraging the development of native wetlands. 

 
 Photo Credit:  www.chesterriverassociation.org

Photo Credit:  www.chesterriverassociation.org

The Chester River Association is an advocate for the health of the Chester River and the living resources it supports. The Chester River Association has encouraged farmers in the watershed to plant cover crops during the winter to provide soil cover and stabilization, which reduces the potential for soil erosion and nutrient pollution. The CRA also advocates the planting of switchgrass, which has a complex root structure that holds soil in place and is highly effective in absorbing nutrients. Harborview Farms has engaged in both cover crop and switchgrass planting, and we continue to work with the CRA as an advocate for keeping the Chester River clean.

 
 Photo Credit:  www.sassafrasriver.org

Photo Credit:  www.sassafrasriver.org

The Sassafras River Association is dedicated to promoting good water quality, a balance among recreation, wildlife, and economic activity, and an educated community that takes action to restore and maintain the health of the watershed. The Sassafras River Association is engaged in a wide range of activities: advocacy, education, watershed assessment and monitoring -- all focused on one principal goal, to remove the Sassafras River from Maryland's list of polluted waterways. Trey Hill, owner of Harborview Farms, serves on the board of Sassafras River Association and owns Colchester Farm on the Sassafras River.