This week, iLCP photographers take to the Bay (the Chesapeake Bay that is) to highlight the importance of the Bay and the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed. Seven iLCP photographers and two guest photographers, many of whom have a special relationship with or live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, are gathering video footage, photographs and compelling stories. In partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, these photographers and iLCP staff will produce an action exhibit of thirty photographs to premiere in September 2010 on Capitol Hill and provide the compelling visual media necessary to facilitate news coverage of the urgency of the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Act to speed the restoration of the Bay’s health and protect it over the long term.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed covers approximately64,000 square miles (164,000 km2) and comprises one of the most important estuaries in the North Atlantic. With rapid development along its shores destroying vast swaths of wetlands and buffering forest, and polluted with a steady increase in agrochemical runoff from the 1950s on, this once thriving estuarine ecosystem was headed toward collapse.
As with each RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition), the Chesapeake Bay RAVE will produce a full media assessment of the threats to the Bay and the entire watershed in a short amount of time. The resulting media will be used to bring attention to and support the conservation efforts of partner organizations working to protect the RAVE region.
The Chesapeake Bay RAVE is timed particularly well to assist the forty-year campaign of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other stakeholders who are actively lobbying for long-term restoration and protection of the Bay. Two Federal bills introduced last year seek to amend the Federal Clean Water Act (Section 117) to ensure that the six states of the Bay watershed, plus the District of Columbia, develop and implement detailed plans to reduce pollution sufficiently to achieve Bay-wide pollution reduction targets for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment by 2025. The RAVE furthers advocacy and awareness efforts supporting these important bills.