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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Author Archives: Fred Tutman

WATER POLLUTION TRADING: PAYING TO POLLUTE OUR WATERWAYS

But the environmental justice implications of water pollution trading are among the most troubling aspects of this approach. Industrial polluters that buy credits are often located in poorer communities and communities of color. By allowing these polluters to avoid controlling their own discharges and continue to dump waste into local waterways by relying on credits, water pollution trading schemes threaten the drinking water and public health of these nearby, vulnerable communities. Continue Reading

No More Bay Business As Usual

(Posted by Fred Tutman.)

(This is fourth in an ongoing series of posts on What’s It Going to Take?: A look at how the environmental community can regain the initiative and build the political will necessary to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.)
Whats It Going to Take?

Who doesn’t want to see our Bay, rivers, or streams restored to health? So it raises the legitimate question of why something coveted by so many, continues to elude us? The irony is that virtually everybody wants clean water until they have to actually sacrifice or take proportional measures in order to get it. Sure, clean water is great as long we can win the next election, make the maximum profit on the next construction job, maintain the waterfront view, get jobs and economic development, and if nobody will get upset.
Continue Reading

Mitigation Madness

(Posted by Fred Tutman.)

The legend of Robin Hood is about a fabled band of brave outlaws in medieval England who took money from the rich under a repressive monarchy and redistributed it to the poor. Sounds like a good thing right? Take something from somebody who has too much and give it instead to somebody who has not enough. What could be wrong with that? Fast forward into reality on the Chesapeake Bay, the 21st century and the lopsided world of “net environmental impacts” where we can take a perfectly good and functioning wetlands site, turn it into a parking lot and then make up for it by restoring a wetlands half way across the state. Continue Reading

Healthy Bay = Healthy Economy

(Posted by Fred Tutman.)

On May 20, 2011, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, along with other Maryland-based Waterkeepers staged an historic event in Annapolis at the City Dock. Firing up their patrol boats, the Riverkeepers, accompanied by a crowd of supporters, motored into Annapolis in a Flotilla of Boats in order to make a point. On the day the Governor was signing (or vetoing) new legislation in the Maryland statehouse, this group of water advocates wanted to make sure that both the public and the legislature understood that time is running out to save our waterways. It’s time for deeds–not just promise–in order to bring about necessary change. Continue Reading

Don’t Confuse Agri-Business With Family Farms

(Posted by Fred Tutman.)

I am deeply upset about what appears to be an unavoidable collision course brewing between Chesapeake Bay advocates and a relatively small segment of the agricultural community that has a big footprint in Maryland and in the Chesapeake Bay. It is a confrontation that is causing huge rifts between champions for water quality and advocates for the future of “true” agriculture in the state. It is a fight that is fast making enemies of those who really should be allies. Continue Reading