The following first appeared in the Bay Journal.
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:
- An environmental literacy requirement for high school graduation in all Bay states, not just Maryland.
- Upstream users who care enough about downstream neighbors to make sure that they do not pollute the water.
- Regulatory agencies that actually regulate.
- Judges who impose penalties on polluters that actually deter future pollution.
- Cities with wastewater pipes that neither leak sewage nor allow stormwater to enter.
- All states are on track to fulfill their promises to meet the 2017 and 2025 Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint goals.
- Smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River free of lesions and disease. Ditto other fish throughout the watershed.
- Healthy, natural oyster reefs covering the Bay bottom--even creating a hazard to navigation.
- Farm lobbying associations that advocate for clean water, not fight against it.
- Healthy vegetated buffers filtering pollutants from local waterways and beautifying Chesapeake country.
- Surface waters and groundwater that are a safe source of drinking water.
- 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