The Chesapeake Bay is an ecosystem in peril. Pollutants from animal farms, urban and suburban development, sewage treatment plants, and coal-fired power plants are deposited into the Bay causing algae blooms that consume the dissolved oxygen and cause dead zones that cannot support aquatic life. To restore this environmental treasure and economic engine, all contributors to the Bay’s pollution problems must be held accountable. CPR works to ensure that state governments and the EPA are being vigilant, transparent, and equitable in holding polluters responsible for their share of the pollution.
In the drought summer of 2001, a simmering conflict between agricultural and environmental interests in southern Oregon's Upper Klamath Basin turned into a guerrilla war of protests, vandalism, and apocalyptic rhetoric when the federal Bureau of Reclamation shut down the headgates of the Klamath Project to conserve water needed by endangered species. This was the first time in U.S. history that the headgates of a federal irrigation project were closed—and irrigators denied the use of their state water rights—in favor of conservation. Farmers went so far as to mount a brief rebellion to keep the water flowing, but ultimately conceded defeat. In Water War in the Klamath Basin: Macho Law, Combat Biology and Dirty Politics, CPR Member Scholars Holly Doremus and A. Dan Tarlock examine the genesis of the crisis and the fallout from it.