FRIDAY FOCUS: Chesapeake Bay Savers

Are you ready to help save the bay? The Chesapeake Bay Savers is a passion driven organization that puts efforts into restoring, protecting and educating people on the importance of their cause. Through their two entities, the Chesapeake BaySavers Foundation and the Chesapeake BaySavers Inc., they focus on a community outreach, hands-on approach to get people involved. In this week’s Friday Focus we reached out to Marisa Sames of Chesapeake BaySavers and discovered the value just one oyster has on the bay!

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

Chesapeake BaySavers Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focuses on restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay through education, community outreach and hands-on environmental work. Chesapeake BaySavers, Inc., a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization focuses on preserving, protecting and promoting the health of the Chesapeake Bay through legislative efforts, with an emphasis on legislation that affects oysters.

In the past year we have formed numerous partnerships with local organizations, removed invasive species to prepare for restoration and storm water management projects, passed laws and regulation on oyster harvesting and to stop poaching, sponsored University of Baltimore’s Law Review Symposium “Can Law Save the Chesapeake Bay”, created a water monitoring initiative along Spa Creek in Annapolis and much more.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

My favorite moments with BaySavers are the educational workshops we do. We have partaken in the PASA Earth Day events, the EcoFEST that was held during the Spa Creek Clean Water PaddleFEST, have sponsored the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s Chesapeake Champions Program and have spoken to people of all ages about the Chesapeake Bay and how they can make a difference.

These are my favorite activities because the first step to making a difference is by educating individuals about who we are, what we do and why it’s important we do what we do. I love talking and teaching people about the Chesapeake Bay and about our native oyster population as well as educating them on the how and why we are working so hard to restore them. Fun fact, a single adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons a day! When you inform people of this, and better yet show them in person how quickly oysters filter water, they suddenly realize how important it is to bring back our oyster population and they become just as passionate as myself and my team.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge for the Chesapeake BaySavers is funding. We have accomplished a lot since our inception but without our dedicated team and supporters we would not be able to continue our important work to restore the Chesapeake Bay for future generations to come.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

We will be holding the Chesapeake BaySavers 5th Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, May 12th, 2017. The event will be held at the Queenstown Harbor Golf Course in Queenstown, MD. You can find more information about registering to play, sponsorship opportunities, and other ways to make our event a success at: http://www.chesapeakebaysavers.org/4th-annual-golf-tournament-3/

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

People can get involved in various different ways! We are looking for interns to work with us on our everyday tasks, volunteers to come out and help make our events run smoothly and successfully, we are also looking for new individuals for join our Board of Directors. If interested, you can contact Marisa Sames at baysavers@gmail.com for more information.

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