"A Last, Best Hope" for the Chesapeake Bay

Poultry Farmer Blames Builder, Who Blames Farmer... as the Bay Dies

Sunset A central tragedy of the Chesapeake Bay is that everyone loves it, but everyone also refuses to see how they’re killing it. It’s a shared resource. But it’s always someone else’s responsibility to give something up to make sure it’s not exploited.

The Bay is like a beautiful neighborhood park that’s being overrun with traffic, litter and pet waste. The dogs walkers get so overheated yelling at the litter bugs and Sunday drivers that they pay no attention to the waste they've left behind.

I urge you to listen to Joel McCord’s excellent series of public radio programs on WYPR to get a sense for the round-robin of responsibility avoidance that’s happening right now as federal government considers increasing action to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

The poultry farmer in the story says the federal government should not be looking at him to reduce his pollution –- because the bigger problem, in his mind, is the rampant suburban sprawl in the Bay watershed.

Meanwhile, the developer claims that his home building is not a threat to the Chesapeake. It’s big agriculture that, in his view, is the elephant in the room that must be addressed.

The federal government is being pushed to exert more pressure on states to clean up the Bay.  But Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley points right back at the federal government, saying that reducing the pollution from Washington DC’s Blue Plains sewage treatment plant –- which is downstream every time someone in Congress or the White House flushes a toilet –- should be the first priority of the federal government.

The truth of the matter, of course, is that the federal government should both upgrade the Blue Plains sewage treatment plant, AND push Maryland to do a better job of reducing pollution.  Both the poultry farmer AND the developer (and everyone else) must take responsibility for their waste.
No exemptions.  No more self-delusion.  Everyone must pull together to save our neighborhood park.



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

As a new homeowner on a tributary on the Chesapeake on the Eastern Shore, I dont understand WHY there isnt a massive effort to mobilize animal and livestock waste as free compost for gardeners of homeowners...I would even pay for this service if I knew where it would be accessible each week...Why not bag up the waste for it to be recycled in the gardens of homeowners?...This would prevent runoff from spilling into the bay and keep sound garden practices going.
Also, why arent more people taking advantage of remodeling their existing homes along the Chesapeake rather than building new homes and cutting down more forests and destroying more wetlands and bulding more septic systems for new homes...Home building is a major source of pollution for the Bay, despite what the developers say....And home remodeling of already existing homes would give a shot to the local economy as it provides thousands of jobs for local contractors like painters and landscapers and carpenters and electricians.....Local contractors get paid more directly by homeowners rather than being "reimbursed" a major developer who's also a polluter...So its a win win situation that also protects the Bay.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)