A Moment in Time for the Bay
CBF President Will Baker
ecently, I have been talking about “A
Moment in Time” for the Bay. But I
stand corrected. It is THE Moment in
Time for the Chesapeake Bay.
World-renowned estuarine scientist and
CBF trustee Don Boesch corrected me. It
was at a CBF Board meeting at which I had
made a presentation describing why I
thought this is a moment in time for the
Bay. After patiently listening, Don said
when I finished, “I disagree with Will. It is
not a moment in time. It is the moment in
time for the Bay.”
Don knows that if the current plan to put
the Bay on a path of sustainability is
derailed, it will take years if not decades for
the political stars to align once again. He
describes his reasoning on page 13.
Let me arm you with the facts:
Fact 1: The Bay is getting better.
Fact 2: It is still a system dangerously out of
Fact 3: A federal regulatory plan to reduce
pollution is now in place which has been
endorsed by all six states.
Fact 6: Congressmen Robert Goodlatte (
R-VA) and Tim Holden (D-PA) have introduced legislation which would stop the plan.
Suing to Stop Bay Restoration:
American Farm Bureau Federation
National Association of Home Builders
National Chicken Council
National Corn Growers Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Turkey Federation
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association
The Fertilizer Institute
What is going on here? Our national treasure now has a realistic chance to be saved,
only to face attack by members of Congress
and national lobbying associations?
Is this the same Chesapeake Bay which
elected officials of every stripe have promised to save? Is this the same Bay which has
been covered by National Geographic, all of
the major networks, and every media outlet in between? Has not the tragedy of the
Bay’s condition and the imperative for a
civilized society to stop the pollution been
not be produced if this plan goes through.
The homebuilder lobbyists claim that
houses will not be built. What absurdity!
Virtually every significant Bay initiative has
suffered strong opposition at the outset.
Economic collapse, ravaged property
rights, jobs lost, and other wild claims have
all been proffered. But the sky has never
fallen, and implemented initiatives have
led to Bay improvement, in spite of a doubling of the population.
We have a choice. We can all work together to leave our children and grandchildren
a legacy of clean water. Or we can allow a
small minority to spoil our legacy. We must
exercise our rights to let our elected officials know what we want. It is more than
our choice; it is our responsibility.
While other societal problems seem
intractable, cleaning up our waters is one
that can be solved.
Saving Chesapeake Bay is now firmly in
our sights. Let’s finish the job. Success here
can be a model for water bodies nationwide and even worldwide.
If not here, where? If not now, when?
Fact 4: The plan, if implemented, will insure
continued improvement of the Bay.
Fact 5: A number of national industry associations are suing to stop the plan in federal court, declaring it unconstitutional.
The Congressmen claim the plan upsets
the balance of power between states and
the federal government, even as science
says that the six-state Chesapeake system
must be managed as one ecological entity.
Agribusiness lobbyists claim that food will
uVisit cbf.org to find out how you can help.
William C. Baker