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.
Here is some local television coverage from our June 30, 2011, action in the Anacostia River protesting the 28th year of not meeting the Clean Water Act deadline. We got terrific national and local media coverage.
At the event organizers called for for readily-achievable actions by Prince Georges County, the District of Columbia, states and the EPA to put the River and all bay rivers on a path to reach the Clean Water Act’s long-postponed fishable and swimmable goal. (See our press release.)
That’s the date by which the Clean Water Act promised that America’s waterways would be fishable and swimmable.
It’s 28 years since that deadline came and went. To bring attention to this anniverary, a group of hardy souls plunged into the murky waters of the Anacostia River to protest the continued failure to make good on that promise.
For the last decade I have written, talked, and sometimes even done things to promote clean water in the Chesapeake Bay region and beyond. But one thing I have always refused to do was to participate in that unique Chesapeake Bay tradition known as “the wade-in.”
The practice was made popular by my good friend and trusted ally, former Maryland State Sen. Bernie Fowler, who has conducted his wade-in for more than two decades. As regular as the fish that return to the Bay each spring, on the second Sunday in June, Sen. Fowler and his followers return to the banks of the Patuxent to see how far they can walk in the water before their shoes become obscured by the thick flow of agricultural pollution, mud, and sewage that plague that troubled river. Politicians make speeches, friends are acknowledged for their hard work, and Bernie loses sight of his feet at about 30 inches (never much different than the year before).… Continue Reading
(Posted by Brooke DeRenzis and Walter Smith.)
The Anacostia watershed is one of the most densely populated watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin. Like many urban watersheds, it is severely polluted by stormwater which runs off of roofs, roads, driveways and parking lots—picking up trash, oil, and bacteria along the way—and into the river and its streams. Although urban and suburban development accounts for only 9 percent of the Chesapeake Bay watershed’s land use, the Bay watershed is becoming more developed. In fact, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program, stormwater runoff is the Bay’s only major source of pollution that is increasing. … Continue Reading