You can’t have your Bay and pave it, too. Any public officials who support the sprawl-inducing Cross County Connector highway project in Southern Maryland – which would wipe out wetlands and forests and pollute one of the Bay’s most prolific fish-breeding grounds – should have their "Treasure the Chesapeake” license plates confiscated and recycled.
The obvious hypocrisy of the government both claiming to “Save the Bay” and supporting massive highway projects to facilitate exurban development is one of the strongest points of an essay published in the University of Maryland Diamondback called “Chesapeake Bay: Speake of the Devil,” by Matt Dernoga, a senior at the College Park campus (pictured below). You can also read it on his blog by clicking here.
Who cares about a student essay? Well, this is our future. There is incredible power in the green movement that is growing in college campuses across the U.S. And who knows, maybe Matt will be governor some day... and will be able to give the thumbs-down himself to highways like the Charles County Cross County Connector.
In his article, Matt first criticizes all the blown deadlines that the federal and state governments have set to restore the Chesapeake. First, we were going to clean up the Bay by 2000. Then by 2010. Now the new goal is to have all the policies in place by 2025.
Here’s a taste of what he has to say:
“Doesn't anyone find it ironic that we decided to have the words'Treasure the Chesapeake' engraved on the back of license plates? License plates which happen to be attached to cars running on roads which has sediment pollution runoff that is ruining the Chesapeake. This is symbolic of our problem… The Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) is now considering granting a permit for the cross-county connector. This new Charles County highway would drive right through the Mattawoman Watershed, which flows into the bay.
Annapolis recently ensured we'll continue our happy highway construction by weakening a smart growth bill this past session that would have put some teeth behind responsible development and anti-sprawl benchmarks. Poor land-use planning and highway construction have become coordinated catastrophes that make our clean-up deadline of 2025 a flatline.”
Any responses, Bay Daily readers?