210376 An overview of policy opportunities to address the human and environmental health threats associated with the Chesapeake Bay

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 11:30 AM

Kim Coble , The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Annapolis, MD
Similar to most estuarine systems worldwide, the health of the Chesapeake Bay is in a precarious state. This is primarily due to eutrophication from human sources such as sewage, agricultural run-off, and air pollutants. There is a long list of initiatives and accomplishments that have helped to stem the decline of the Bay over the past 25 years despite an additional 5 million people moving into the region. However, with an additional 5 million people projected to move into the Chesapeake Bay region in the next 20 years, there will be continued increase from pressures and stresses on the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Policy makers, stakeholders and advocates struggle with the question: How do we make strides forward in environmental protection under such daunting pressures? As we look to future opportunities to address pollutant loads, we must look at human and environmental health issues collectively. There is a strong link between what affects our environment and what affects our health. In the Chesapeake region we have had a number of successful initiatives to address both the threats to our environment, as well as threats to our health. These initiatives include Maryland's Healthy Air Act, Shellfish and Beach Closure area programs, and Fish Consumption Advisories. Additionally, the partnership between health advocates and environmental advocates is a powerful voice. Stresses that affect the Chesapeake Bay and human health, as well as initiatives and advocacy tools to address these stresses, will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
Describe what policies are being advocated for to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and what effects these policies may have on the health of the Bay and its inhabitants.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This session pertains to the Chesapeake Bay and the environmental health stresses facing the Bay. I have worked as a scientist and advocate for the Chesapeake Bay for over 15 years. Additionally, my academic training was in environmental health so, I understand the connection between the two issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.