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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Bay agreement efforts are foundering

If, in 1983, we were to create a nightmare scenario for the bay, this would be it — we are living that nightmare! The cause of this decline is attributable to the failure to properly address pollutants from developed land — stormwater runoff — and from agricultural operations. About 90 percent of bay waters remain polluted in violation of the Clean Water ActContinue Reading

Ag Certainty: Making Certain that the Bay Remains Polluted

With Ag Certainty, we’ve just thrown a “critical” part of the TMDL out the window; the only real “certainty” that remains is that we’ll all be sitting down in 2025 again and try to come up with the next, great plan to clean up the Bay.Continue Reading

The 2012 Draft Comprehensive Plan for Charles County: What You Get When the Developers Write Your Plan

…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

The Hudson/Perdue Chicken Waste Case — What We’ve Already Learned

A decision is expected soon in the highly publicized federal lawsuit Waterkeepers Alliance, Inc., vs. Alan and Kristen Hudson Farm and Perdue Farms, Inc. The outcome is anyone’s guess, but already testimony from the trial has made clear that Maryland’s effort to oversee and enforce nutrient management plans needs more muscle.Continue Reading

War on Rural Maryland?

The costs of reversing the degradation of our rivers, streams and the bay are significant and will require sacrifices from all counties, urban and rural. We need to work together to find more cost-effective ways to reduce pollution, including pollution from the Conowingo dam. Driving a wedge between urban and rural counties by promoting a culture of victimhood will hurt that effort.Continue Reading

The Fictional War on Family Farmers

One reality is that nobody wants families to be forced to stop farming. A second widely-understood reality is that the single greatest force driving farm families away from their traditional lives is the ever-growing domination of food production by huge companies like Perdue, Inc.Continue Reading