(Posted Thu. Aug 2nd, 2012)

CommonGround Brochure CoverAug. 2:  Consumers across the Mid-Atlantic are looking at how farmers impact Chesapeake Bay water quality in a new way, thanks to the efforts of the CommonGround programs in Delaware and Maryland. Working with national staff, these women have developed a brochure which they are using to start conversations about this important issue in a variety of venues including state fairs and at baseball games. Stressing the important role that each stakeholder can play, this brochure clearly outlines 12 ways in which farmers are already working to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and offers five concrete ways homeowners can implement their own efforts.


For a copy of this brochure (7.5 MB), click here.


With six states and 17.4 million people sharing the 64,000 square miles that constitute Chesapeake Bay, many of the area’s inhabitants have voiced concerns over this important ecosystem.  As is often the case in such complex situations, confusion over the cause of damage to the waters abounds with a disproportionate amount of the blame often falling onto the shoulders of the area’s farmers.


CommonGround volunteers in the area seek to restore an open, honest dialogue that clears the air so that, together, the community can clear the water.  Stressing that farmers depend on the land, the water and the air to grow their crops, CommonGround volunteers offer insight into practices that they have personally implemented to decrease the impact of agriculture on the waters.


The brochure, which explains the importance of agriculture to the region and the positive impact of on-farm practices such as the use of precision technologies, buffer zones and enhanced seed varieties, takes the conversation a step further by offering five suggestions concerned residents can implement at home. Empowering the greater community to become part of the solution, this piece strives to build a partnership between farmers and the larger community that improves the waters for everyone.


At the end of August, this effort will move up the coast as CommonGround New York launches a similar dialogue during the Dutchess County Fair.


For more information on CommonGround, click here.