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Report | Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

Urban Fertilizers & the Chesapeake Bay:

For more than 26 years, states in the Chesapeake Bay region have attempted to clean up the Bay, but it continues to choke on a lethal overdose of pollution. In order to achieve a clean, sustainable Bay, states in the Bay watershed will have to reduce nitrogen levels in Bay waters another 30 percent and reduce phosphorus by an additional 8 percent—in spite of a projected population increase of 30 percent by the year 2030. Reductions of that magnitude will only be possible if governments target all the watershed’s sources of nutrient pollution.

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Report | Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

An Unsustainable Path: Why Maryland's Manure Pollution Rules are Failing to Protect the Chesapeake Bay

Phosphorus from manure applied to farmland is a major source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Intensive chicken production, particularly on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, generates large volumes of manure. Growers and farmers often spread this manure on their fields as fertilizer, but when applied in excess, the nutrients that make manure useful for fertilizing crops also contribute to dead zones in the bay.

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Result

We’re restoring Clean Water Act protections.

More than 800,000 of us called on the Environmental Protection Agency to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act. And in May, they answered by finalizing a rule to restore protections to the more than 20 million acres of wetlands, 60% of streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans. 

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Result

At 54.5 mpg, a big step forward.

Americans will consume less oil, create less smog and cut our global warming emissions, thanks to Clean Cars rules we helped implement in 14 states. Those state victories paved the way for President Obama to announce new nationwide clean car standards in 2011, which amount to the single biggest step this country has taken to end our addiction to oil and tackle global warming.

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Result

An outpouring of support for local farms

We should be doing everything we can to support healthy food and sustainable agriculture. Yet the U.S. House recently voted to eliminate programs that encourage local  farming — even as billions are sent to factory farms that foul our air and water. Environment Maryland delivered more than one thousand postcards to Gov. Martin O'Malley this summer in support of programs that would help local, sustainable farmers compete.

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