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| Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Patricia Price | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |

DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


December 19, 2007

The Chesapeake Bay

Tom McLaughlin

It absolutely can’t be that dirty. No way. The Chesapeake Bay that is. All the information flowing in says the waterway is a cesspool complete with garbage floating on top of its entire length and breath. There are no fish. Anyone catching any are having hallucinations and eating imaginary meals. The water quality sucks with a capital “S.”

Twenty-five years ago I attended the first signing of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. I received the Governor’s Citation for my efforts. That was before they were handing them out like toilet paper. Then, the Bay was in dire need of repair. Now, according to reports, the Bay has gotten worse and everyone can walk across the flotsam.

During the past quarter century, millions of dollars have been spent. Hundreds of thousands of trees have been planted. Civic groups like the Boy Scouts have picked up miles and miles of garbage. Hundreds of sewage treatment plants have been upgraded. Acres of the Bay have been put off limits to shell fishing. Constraints have been placed on every species of fish. Hundreds of farmers have built berms between the land and any water way.

Most of us have limited the use of fertilizer on our lawn. We have recycled newspaper, plastic, cans and everything else imaginable. Teachers have taught students, now for a generation, the value of the Bay. I have taught my kids ecology, bird watching and plant identification. We have all pitched in to help.

Now they tell us that 25 years of our efforts were for naught. The Bay is still as bad as it ever was. Recently, in Baltimore’s Sun, there was an article on how bad the Choptank River is. The reporter blamed the farmers. Yet I know that most of them have followed the guidelines from Annapolis and still they are blamed. Oh, the reporter did say that development may have something to do with it; but the farmers are the real culprits.

With all our efforts, why isn’t the Bay any better? It is, but there are groups of people who don’t want it to get better. Many have been formed that rely on grants, government handouts and our donations to survive. If they say the Bay is recovering, then they will get less money. They then continue the harangue of “lions-and-tigers- oh-my” litany. And boy, during the past couple of months, one would think the Bay’s PH is that of battery acid.

I am sick of them. I am tired of their pleadings for more money. After 25 years of pumping blood into what seems like a gaping sucking chest wound, nothing has been done. All they seem to do is form a bureaucracy, pay themselves a whole mess of money and beg, beg, beg for more. I bet not one of them has picked up one scrap of paper from the Bay’s Shore. To Hell with them!

Yes, we need to continue our efforts to clean up the Bay; but we the people need some good news and recognition because we have done all the work. Delegates, senators and newspapers (recycled, of course) can give recognition to those groups who actually do something other than attend meetings, send emails, talk on the phone and otherwise denigrate the efforts we have done. We could use mini-grants to civic organizations that actually use a shovel, dig a hole and plant trees instead of sitting behind a desk all day.

I say not another dime to that naysayer bunch and let them find real work in the private sector.



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