Waterkeepers Chesapeake – a coalition of 19 independent Waterkeeper organizations – is working to ensure the waters of the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays are fishable, drinkable, and swimmable. Waterkeepers Chesapeake is deeply concerned about the threat posed to the Chesapeake Bay by the massive expansion of industrial poultry operations on the Eastern Shore. Agriculture is the largest source of pollution to the Bay, and while many farmers have good intentions, there is no way around the fact that certain agricultural practices compromise public health, harm our waterways, and ignore the long-term health of the soil.
As a means to address this pollution problem, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, through its Fair Farms Campaign, is working to fix the root of this issue: our broken food system. Launched in 2015, Fair Farms works to address the systemic issues surrounding poultry production in the region, a system rigged against fair and sustainable farming, rewarding the practices of large-scale, industrial farm operations, while small scale farmers struggle to bring their foods to market. To combat the rampant pollution, the entire system needs to change.
Fair Farms brings together consumers, farmers, public health professionals, and conservationists to advocate for responsible farming practices and increased support for visionary farmers to build an equitable and sustainable food system.
Header photo by Assateague COASTKEEPER.