On the 25th anniversary of the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort, The Baltimore Sun reported that a group of over a dozen of scientists and activists have released a statement to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program calling for a more aggressive commitment to cleaning up the bay. Sun reporter, Tim Wheeler, has also blogged about this subject showing a dramatic image illustrating the poor health of the Bay.
This plea for better tactics and enforceable measures is not the first, and certainly won’t be the last one presented to officials charged with bay restoration. Officials at the National Aquarium are standing in line with all of the Chesapeake Bay advocates encouraging mandatory, enforceable measures put in place in the areas of agriculture, zoning, development, wetland restoration, the list goes on.
The Aquarium’s conservation team and volunteers spend endless hours each year restoring wetlands in and around Maryland and educating visitors on watershed health. And there are countless organizations leading their own charges, doing their part to “Save the Bay”.
The message has been made clear. Voluntary efforts to restore the bay have not succeeded. The bay’s importance to the 15 million people whose waters drain to it, from Washington, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and as far north as upstate New York, cannot be overstated. We now know that better results over the next 25 years will only be seen through the creation of consistent, mandatory practices.