Chesapeake Bay Action PlanAfter decades of effort, the voluntary, collaborative approach to restoring the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay— the largest estuary in the United States—has not worked and, in fact, is failing. A diverse group of 57 senior scientists and policymakers have joined forces to save the Bay. This is our plan.
See real life people & pets affected by bay runoff
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What you have seen is shocking but true: decent people who love the Chesapeake Bay getting life-threatening infections by simply coming in contact with its polluted waters–and their pets, too.
What causes these infections? Every time it rains, the water runs off paved surfaces and washes all the nutrients, chemicals, and dirt into our creeks and streams. An inch of rain falling on an acre of hard surface can produce 27,000 gallons of stormwater runoff.
Stormwater runoff flushes fertilizer from lawns, and pesticides, oil and anti-freeze, pet waste, and sediment (dirt) into the nearest creek or stream from developed areas such as your house, streets, and all hardened surfaces whether shopping centers, churches, schools, parking lots, or highways.
…some counties have revolted against the State’s threat to their autonomy and decided to test the State’s resolve to use the “stick.” Charles County seems poised to join the ranks of Frederick, Cecil and others who don’t have a problem with new development costs being born by the taxpayers and the water being too dirty for their children to play in. … Continue Reading
(This ninth installment in our series, What’s It Going to Take?, looks at how the environmental community can regain the initiative and build the political will necessary to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.)
In this exclusive interview with the Bay Action Plan, Chesapeake Bay Program Director Nick DiPasquale says that the costs of cleaning the Chesapeake Bay are significant, but manageable.
“No time is a good time when you’re talking about trying to implement very costly pollution control measures,” DiPasquale said. “But when you spread that cost over the life of a project… you find that the cost to individual households is a few dollars a month. Compare it to cellphone or cable costs, it puts things into perspective.”
The recent deluges leading to massive stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay may cause great damage to an already seriously impaired system. We previously have discussed in this spot the huge flows of Bay-choking nutrients and sediment from farms each time it rains. Now, we will devote discussions to the pollution flowing from developed lands including huge amounts of nutrients, sediment, and toxic chemicals.
The Chesapeake’s watershed before 1607 was 95 percent forested with huge acreage of intact wetlands. These forests and wetlands absorbed and held nutrients and sediment. The flow of these Bay-killing pollutants was greatly accelerated due to enormous changes in land use when we converted forests and wetlands to agriculture and then, more recently, to development. The Bay region has since lost about 50 percent of its forest cover and 72 percent of its wetlands. No change has been more devastating for the Bay.… Continue Reading