Chesapeake Baysavers is an Annapolis based environmental organization whose mission is to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake Baysavers is dedicated to restoring all of the Bay's natural resources. It is apparent that the key to restoring the health of the Bay is to rebuild the population of oysters. The oysters are the filters of the Bay and no revitalization effort will be successful without them.
To help accomplish these goals, Chesapeake Baysavers is made up of two separate non-profits that each play a vital role.
- Chesapeake Baysavers Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay through youth education programs, community outreach and hands on environmental work.
- Chesapeake Baysavers, Inc is a 501(c)(4) non-profit whose mission is to preserve, protect and promote the oyster population of the Chesapeake Bay through legislative efforts in helping to pass laws beneficial to the oyster population. For information on this organization please go to the Legislative Action heading of this website.
Katherine Wares testifying on behalf of Chesapeake BaySavers for SB 694
This legislative session Chesapeake BaySavers has so far testified to support Senate Bill 694 – Income Tax Credit – Oyster Shell Recycling – Transfer of Credit and Senate Bill 163 - Neonicotinoid Pesticide - Labeling Requirement (Pollinator Protection Act of 2015).
In 2013, the Maryland legislature passed a $1 income tax credit for every bushel of shells businesses recycled. However, businesses that are recycling shells are claiming the tax credit. They say this is because the credit is not worth the time and effort it takes to actually file it. SB 694 – Income Tax Credit – Oyster Shell Recycling – Transfer of Credit fixes the issue by making the tax credit transferable, allowing ORP and DNR to create a credit exchange and compensate businesses for their shells. By receiving cash for their shells, there will be a greater incentive for businesses to recycle more or all of their shells.
SB 163 - Neonicotinoid Pesticide - Labeling Requirement stronger regulates the use of neonicotinoids, a family of persistent and systemic pesticides that have shown to have the capability to contaminate surface waters and groundwater sources, and have shown to have the capability to adversely affect marine life once water sources have been contaminated.
Chesapeake BaySavers has also hosted to legislative dinners with the Budget and Taxation, Environment and Transportation, and Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committees. At these dinners the BaySavers were able to speak with legislators directly to express our concerns about issues facing the bay.
Life threatening flesh eating bacteria cases (vibrio) have risen dramatically in Maryland, specifically in regard to exposure in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The number of cases in Maryland reached a 10 year high with 57 reported cases according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. There have been 27 reported cases in Virginia so far this year, compared to 8 last year.
By way of comparison, nationwide there are usually about 95 cases per year - approximately 35 of which are fatal.