A Wish List for the Watershed

The following first appeared in the Bay Journal

Oyster reef-1200
Healthy, natural oyster reefs covering the Bay bottom is just one of CBF President Will Baker's wishes for 2016.

Dear Santa,

For this holiday season, I humbly ask for the following. I hope it is not an unreasonable list. It certainly doesn't seem so to me. After all, this is 2015 in the United States of America, a country which is quick to tell every other country in the world what they should and should not do.

Here's my list:

  1. An environmental literacy requirement for high school graduation in all Bay states, not just Maryland.
  2. Upstream users who care enough about downstream neighbors to make sure that they do not pollute the water.
  3. Regulatory agencies that actually regulate.
  4. Judges who impose penalties on polluters that actually deter future pollution.
  5. Cities with wastewater pipes that neither leak sewage nor allow stormwater to enter.
  6. All states are on track to fulfill their promises to meet the 2017 and 2025 Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint goals.
  7. Smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River free of lesions and disease. Ditto other fish throughout the watershed.
  8. Healthy, natural oyster reefs covering the Bay bottom--even creating a hazard to navigation.
  9. Farm lobbying associations that advocate for clean water, not fight against it.
  10. Healthy vegetated buffers filtering pollutants from local waterways and beautifying Chesapeake country.
  11. Surface waters and groundwater that are a safe source of drinking water.
  12. And for number 12--I know this is asking a lot--I sure would like a Bay that has water the way it was designed: without a dead zone!

--Will Baker, CBF President

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

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