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Bay Hero Program Helps You Save the Chesapeake


ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (April 21, 2009) – A new Bay Hero program ( calculates how much pollution you can personally save from the Chesapeake Bay by doing simple things like using less fertilizer, driving a low-polluting car, and picking up dog poop.

“The numbers can be striking”, says Joanna Conti, President of Make Maryland Great, Inc. “My family can save 139 pounds of pollution from reaching the Bay by upgrading our septic system and fertilizing our lawn only once this year”.

At least 40% of the Chesapeake Bay becomes a dead zone in the heat of the summer, with insufficient oxygen for crabs, fish and oysters to survive. While there has been progress made since 1985 in decreasing the amount of pollution coming from wastewater treatment plants and agricultural lands, this has been partly offset by an increase in the pollution running off yards and parking lots.

With the exception of its far western tip, all of Maryland is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. However, a recent Chesapeake Bay Trust study found that only 27% of Marylanders realize that what washes off their property ends up in the Chesapeake Bay. It is likely there is similar confusion among residents of Washington, DC and northern Virginia who are also part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“Since smog and urban/suburban runoff account for 40% of the pollution that is creating the dead zones, it is going to take all of us working together to restore the Bay to health”, says Conti. “By helping individuals identify simple actions they can take and track their progress in meeting their pollution-reduction goals, together we can make a big difference”.

Make Maryland Great will celebrate the accomplishments of people who are particularly successful reducing the amount they pollute. They will also honor Bay Superheroes who recruit many others to join the Bay Hero program at


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 nonpoint source pollution
 Bay Hero

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