Sustainability Corner: The Chesapeake Bay Foundation

By Mickey Thaxton
Associate Executive Director

On Thursday, October 5, members of Riderwood’s Sustainability Committee and its affiliate group, Residents Supporting Sustainability, formalized the community’s partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) by traveling to its headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland.  As an introduction to the CBF, Riderwood staff and residents were hosted at the Merrill Center, the world’s first platinum-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building.  As a LEED certified building the Merrill Center is constructed of recycled products or products created through processes that don’t damage the environment while the building itself operates in harmony with the land, natural resources, and the Chesapeake Bay.  Embodied in its founding charter, the Sustainability Committee is charged with seeking ways to reduce our community’s carbon footprint; seeing how the CBF is putting that vision into action served as inspiration to committee members and prompted further discussion about what Riderwood might do as we move toward fashioning a more sustainable community.

In addition to touring the Merrill Center, the group was given an overview of CBF’s mission and its priorities for the coming legislative session.  As described by CBF’s Outreach and Advocacy manager, Anna Mudd, one of the immediate, principal concerns is the protection of the menhaden fish, “a small, silvery, nutrient-rich fish [and] a vital link in the Chesapeake Bay’s food web.  Often called the ‘most important fish in the sea,’ menhaden serve as an important food source for striped bass, birds, and marine mammals. But the Chesapeake Bay has not been seeing the number of young menhaden it did historically, raising concerns for scientists, anglers, and anyone who cares about the health of the bay.”

In continuation of Riderwood’s partnership with the CBF, Foundation representatives will visit the community later this fall to present a preview for the 2018 legislative session to let residents know how they might become involved in the foundation’s efforts to protect and restore the bay, its rivers, and its streams.  To learn more about how you can become involved in furthering the Sustainability Committee’s efforts to make Riderwood a more “green” community, talk to a member of the Committee, follow the Sustainability Corner in the Reporter, or attend the CBF presentation this fall.

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed stretches from southern New York State in the north to central Virginia in the South and it covers parts of four additional states including Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. (Map courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation)

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