After 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.

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Chickens and the Bay

Chickens and the Bay

Gerald Winegrad’s recent column “Farms and King Chicken Stand in the way of a cleaner Chesapeake Bay” is an alarm bell we should heed (The Capital, June 21). Big agri-business pollutants are unequivocally and on record the biggest source of nutrients and sediment choking the Chesapeake Bay.

Chicken operations produce more than 600 million chickens on the Eastern Shore. Thousands of tons of nutrient-rich raw excrement are dumped on farmland.

Industry shills unabashedly tout limited successes and shift the blame to development and its stormwater flows while corporate giants like Perdue, Mountaire, and Tyson ramp up chicken operations where one farm operation can produce 1.5 million chickens a year. Making matters worse, the giant agri-businesses take the chickens, leaving the manure with the farmers where the cheapest option is usually followed — putting it on the land, where there may already may be enough phosphorus and nitrogen.

The simple solution is avoided: Make the giant chicken corporations take care of the manure in a sound environmental fashion!

The usual corporate rebuttals offered up by industry shills, split hairs over whether their waste streams are a really big problem, or a little itty bitty ones.

They seek to distract us by chastising Winegrad for painting farmers as villains but the same lobby does not hesitate to villainize developers by finger-pointing nitrogen flows from urban stormwater.

Fact: in 2018, farms, (including chicken farms), produced 119 million pounds of nitrogen poisoning our waters while all urban runoff produced 39.7 million pounds. Meaning, factory farms produced three times more nitrogen than urban runoff. Check the facts, Follow the science and not the rhetoric!

Chicken farms and other farms produced 56% more phosphorous than stormwater runoff. Agriculture is far from meeting its EPA mandated nitrogen reductions by 2025 and must reduce them by 30% by 2025 while they expand chicken operations.

Gains touted by the industry are overstated as they use questionable calculations. To save the Bay we simply cannot let the chicken industry dominate Maryland politics.

FRED TUTMAN

Patuxent Riverkeeper

Upper Marlboro

The Chesapeake Bay Restoration is in Deep Trouble

The Chesapeake Bay Restoration is in Deep Trouble

The wheels are coming off the commitments by federal and state governments to get the job done and assure a flourishing ecological treasure.

When I joined 700 other hopeful bay caretakers at the signing of the first Bay Restoration Agreement in Virginia in 1983, I was optimistic we would succeed in restoring the bay. If the bright-eyed, full of hope leaders back in 1983 had envisioned a nightmare scenario for the Bay’s future, we are in it now!Continue Reading

Land Use Threatens Chesapeake Bay and Quality of Life

Land Use Threatens Chesapeake Bay and Quality of Life

After 50 years of environmental advocacy, I can state unequivocally that the most abused power in the U.S. is the authority over land use given local authorities. Through the centuries, too many local officials have been blinded by greed including campaign contributions, and in rarer cases, bribes, as well as by seeking development at any cost as a goal.Continue Reading

Gerald Winegrad: Bay cleanup is mired in a Chesapeake deadzone

Gerald Winegrad: Bay cleanup is mired in a Chesapeake deadzone

The EPA Bay Program was prodded by Congress in 2006 to begin issuing detailed annual progress reports and assessments with excellent data and no-holds-bar reporting of both failures and successes. This has ended. The EPA assessment is part of the Green Washing engaged in by governors, legislators, and even some in the conservation community to declare success when there is none.Continue Reading

Gerald Winegrad: Neglect fuels Chesapeake oyster collapse. It’s time to close the wild fishery

https://www.capitalgazette.com/opinion/columns/ac-ce-column–20200103-dogxbqhp25dmvdfa3n4k2id3zy-story.html Capital Gazette | Jan 03, 2020 | 9:42 AM Environmentalist Gerald Winegrad plants oyster seed at his dock on Oyster Creek in Annapolis with students. Chesapeake oysters have collapsed to less than 1 percent of their historic populations. Harvests have plummeted to 136,954 bushels in Maryland. In the late 1800s, 20 million bushels were…Continue Reading

Code red: for the Chesapeake Bay

Code red: for the Chesapeake Bay

In December 1983, 35 years ago, the bay states and EPA solemnly pledged to restore the bay in signing the first Bay Agreement. President Ronald Reagan budgeted $40 million for the new Bay Program over four years and said in his 1984 State of the Union that: “We will begin the long, necessary effort to clean up a productive recreational area and a special national resource — the Chesapeake Bay.”
These lofty expectations may be crushed…
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