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Home » Environment

From grass to water, Chesapeake Bay experts differ on meaning of ‘clean’

Submitted by on 28 January, 2016 – 4:32 pm
After a recent rain, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is blocked with an eclectic mix of garbage – bottles of soda and a big purple ball, sticks and dirt, candy wrappers and recessed television.

“The Bay right now is the water more dead than he ever has – and that is the experience of the boatman did not from a scientific perspective,” said Larry SIMNSA, president of the Maryland Association of sailors.

For over 30 years, the Chesapeake Bay states – Maryland, Virginia and Delaware – have worked under voluntary agreements to promote the health of the bay.

To President Barack Obama’s Chesapeake Bay executive orders the government to submit a reorganization plan of the bay and the Environmental Protection Agency vows to intensify its role in the process, cleaning the Chesapeake Bay is still a matter burning in both local and national politics.

However, experts agree the bay cleanup is absent, and use rules to determine many different cleaning – or lack thereof.

Beth McGee, a senior scientist with the water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said that two important elements of a clean bay would be higher dissolved oxygen content (no dead zones) and the clearest water, so that herbs Submerged aquatic, bay prairie, “would be able to grow and shelter for aquatic life.

“It’s where it was to get out in shallow water and watch your toes instead of gloom,” said McGee. “That is what has restored, is a bay, you see clear water.

Frank Dawson, assistant secretary for aquatic resources in the Department of Natural Resources of Maryland, said controlling nutrient intake is the most important element for cleaning the bay.

“A clean-up the Chesapeake Bay is a system that is in equilibrium, as in not too many nutrients, there is too much sediment into the bay. Is one in which we have restored the habitats of oyster reefs for aquatic black (or vegetation) Bay grasses – where there is an abundance of wetlands … along the coast, “said Dawson.

Tommy Landers, an advocate of environmental policy advocacy organization Environment Maryland, said a clean bay would be the Maryland and Virginia would be proud.

“A clean bay water will all be swimming anywhere in the bay, without any threat of disease – where anyone can fish and be sure that you can bring the crabs and oysters and fish, they can rest assured are not sick, “he said.

When John Smith visited the bay 400 years ago, wrote that the oyster was as thick as stones “and that the sturgeon were abundant -” more than could be devoured by dog or man. ”

“I do not think it will never return to the pristine form of the bay was a couple hundred years ago,” said Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland. “That’s not our goal. The goal is to have a bay that is healthy for recreational use. A bay that is healthy for our species, including our favorites, such as rockfish and blue crab.”

McGee said he hopes the latest efforts of cleaning the bay to reach those goals.

“It’s an exciting time right now in the restoration of the bay … There are a lot of complementary things going on right now,” he said, referring to the executive order and related bills, and the efforts of the EPA.

Cardin is circulating a draft bill for discussion to make the order of the Chesapeake Bay Executive in the law. It plans to introduce the project in October. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Baltimore, plans to introduce a companion bill in the House, also in October.

“I agree with President Obama to the Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure and should be treated as such,” said Cardin, language referring to the executive order.

A major concern Cardin to introduce the draft law is that the executive order could be changed by changing the administration.

Dawson, of the DNR, agree that cleaning the bay would take time – certainly more than four or even eight years.

“It took a significant amount of time to reach the bay where it is today,” he said. “It will not be fixed overnight.”

(c) 2009, Capital News Service.  Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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