The Bay (Part 1)

In some ways, the similarities are scary. Water pollution has plagued the Chesapeake Bay for decades. One of the planet’s first marine “dead zones,” an area where levels of dissolved oxygen are too low to sustain aquatic life, was discovered there in the 1970s. The health of many Iowa rivers…

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The Project (Part 2)

The tool of choice: A diet. People in the Chesapeake Bay aren’t eating less blue crabs, oysters or other specialties of the region. Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put the bay on a “pollution diet.” It became clear to state and environmental officials that the bay could not be…

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The States (Part 3)

A combination of regulations and voluntary conservation practices and programs are on the plate of Chesapeake Bay states on a “pollution diet.” Some require mandatory nutrient management plans. Iowa does too for large confined animal feeding operations (CAFOS), but Maryland, Delaware and Virginia make it so almost every farm needs…

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The People (Part 4)

To some Chesapeake Bay farmers, regulations are no big deal. Others say they’re a financial burden, but not to the point they’ve put people out of business. Some producers claim they provide little or no agronomic or environmental advantage. Farmers rattle off benefits and pitfalls of rules meant to restore…

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The Progress (Part 5)

Restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay may prove to be a century-long process, regardless of agricultural regulations in place. Environmental and state officials tasked with improving water quality in the bay say it may be another 30 years or more before goals are met even after decades of work.…

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The Future (Part 6)

Earning the public’s trust that voluntary conservation efforts to improve water quality in Iowa is the best solution won’t be easy. But the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and its members are up to the challenge. Roger Wolf, ISA’s director of Environmental Programs and Services, and other environmental experts say farmers…

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