Agriculture is the number one source of nutrient and sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay - that is a scientific fact. Excess nutrients from fertilizer and sediment runoff caused by poor farming practices promote algae blooms and murky waters that lead to hypoxic dead zones and a host of other challenges for water quality. But...our community's rich culture is based on our agricultural heritage, and, of course, we all need to eat. Fortunately for us, several local farmers are taking leadership roles in improving practices to lessen agriculture's impact on our local waterways. CRA is activley working with farmers in our watershed to install water quality treatment projects - wetlands, native buffers, and the like.
But what if we could prevent water pollution before it starts, and still have productive, profitable farms? That is the "next big thing" CRA is working towards.
CRA, in partnership with the University of Maryland's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Washington College, is currently seeking funds for a project to promote a suite of proven but underutilized agricultural technologies that will significantly improve nutrient efficiency and reduce soil loss, resulting in cleaner water. Our proposed project should not only benefit water quality, but is also economically sustainable as farmers should be able to reduce fertilizer input costs.
Stay tuned for more information on this exciting and transformative project. If you want to support this work, or any of our other programs, we welcome donations by clicking here.