The Bay Has a Message for Us
hile the extreme, perhaps even record-breaking, dead zone in the Bay this
summer was due to a specific combination of weather events, there was a clear
message sent: Save Me!
strategy been put in place for the Bay. But
there are powerful forces trying to derail it.
(Please see pages 10 to 13.)
In the courts, industrial scale agri-chemical
interests and the National Homebuilders
Association are suing EPA. They are alleging
unconstitutional action by EPA. (Pollution
reduction is unconstitutional?)
In Congress, forces
are working to
stop the “Save
the Bay” effort as
is pending to
from spending a
single dollar to help rescue the Chesapeake.
Government overreach is alleged. (Pollution
reduction is government overreach?)
Oysters, crabs, and fish
rely on clean water.
And they need our help.”
I have reported in the past that the Bay is
showing some trends of modest improvement—crabs,
oysters, underwater grasses,
dissolved oxygen levels are
all doing better.
But, the recent
shock of horrendous bad
water quality is a shrill wakeup call that the
job is not done.
Fortunately, rescue mechanisms are in place
thanks to the Obama Administration’s
Environmental Protection Agency and a partnership with the District of Columbia and the
six states in the watershed. In the first phase,
each jurisdiction developed aggressive plans
to incrementally reduce pollution with two-year, measurable and reportable milestones.
If those milestones are not met by the states,
EPA can impose sanctions.
Now, the planning process moves into a
second phase. Just as the federal government provided the states with specific pollution-reduction targets, for which individual plans had to be developed and
approved, the states are doing the same
with local governments. Each will be
required to have a comprehensive plan to
reduce its share of the total pollution load.
The deadline is March 30, 2012.
Never in the history of the Chesapeake Bay
restoration effort has such a science-backed
Now, more than ever, we ask every CBF
member to let your elected officials at the
federal, state, and local levels know how
critical it is to advance Bay restoration.
Write a letter, call their office, meet with
them in person. Use your own words and
stories to describe how important clean
water in the streams, rivers, and Bay’s main
stem is to you. Visit our website at
cbf.org/getinvolved to learn more or contact
any of the CBF offices. Phone numbers are
listed to the right.
This summer, we received an unmistakable
message. Listen to our Bay. It is pleading for
our help. And so are the oysters, crabs, and
fish who rely on clean water.
CBF President Will Baker
Call your nearest CBF
office to learn more:
Headquarters/Maryland State Office
Pennsylvania State Office
Virginia State Office
Hampton Roads Office
Federal Affairs Office