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Maryland DNR just posted a draft of the new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement for a commenting/opinions period and thought sailors who enjoy the bay might be interested. I know this isn't strictly related to sailing but I think those who sail inherently appreciate and respect nature including efforts to maintain/preserve all of natures wonders.

I have no affiliation or involvement whatsoever. I just sign up for alerts/postings from MDDNR.

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/...e-Bay.html?soid=1102789102673&aid=idbL4uB3ycA

Enjoy

Josh
 

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might work?

But I strongly suspect that this one, will be no different than those of the past 40 years. CBF had the gov't on the ropes a few years back and instead of doing it....negotiated away a likely solution that has lead to more delay, more money for Will and his group, And has done NOTHING to improve the bay.

Best of luck to MD, and since they own the water up to my dock in VA, I would love to comment or speak on behalf of those of us in VA, who have no say, whatsoever, in what MD does to our water, but the comments are open ONLY to Marylanders, even the MD reps and senators don't want to hear from Virginians.
 

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Having covered the bay as a reporter for more than three decades, I can assure everyone that this agreement is no different than any of it's predecessors, all of which were nothing more than promises that would never be kept. Over the years, the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Program has been an abysmal failure, and will continue to be just that. It's nothing more than a political football that keeps shoveling money into the pockets of those individuals that benefit from studying things, but never fixing them. The bay has been studied to death - literally! The first studies I was able to dig up were conducted in the late 1800s, and there have been thousands upon thousands of taxpayer funded studies since then. Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent to study the bay, and while those making the bucks studying the bay claim they have made great strides in pollution reduction, anyone that has been on the Chesapeake since the 1950s knows the bay is far more polluted than it was then.

The problems are not at all complex and realistically, do not require any more taxpayer funded studies or agreements between states. The fix doesn't require the institution of more taxpayer funded bureaucracies, kingdoms in towering buildings in Annapolis or Baltimore, presentations at MDDNR, acts of congress, etc... Long before CBF, there was the Maryland Rockfish Association that championed the bay water cleanup, an organization that fought to no avail against incredible odds to reduce industrial and municipal pollution. Ironically, their most vociferous opponent was the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. I should know - I had to cover most of the hearings in both Annapolis, Baltimore, Cambridge and Salisbury. At that time, and I suspect things have not changed, Maryland DNR frequently testified on the side of the offending industry or municipality, claiming they rarely if ever exceeded state and federal discharge permit guidelines. It only took 10 minutes of digging in some obscure files to discover that raw sewage spills of less than 10,000 gallons did not have to be reported to DNR or MDE. You would be amazed at the number of of 9,999 gallon spills that take place every year.

Unfortunately, the bay will NEVER be cleaner than it is right now. The reason being is we will never have fewer people living in the bay watershed than we do right now - yep people are the problem. Every newborn child in the watershed area poops into Chesapeake Bay - not directly, at least most of the time, but that poop still ends up in the bay. And that newborn will do this for the next 79 to 82 years. Additionally, he or she will produce offspring that will do the same thing - poop in the bay. Our sewage treatment plants are archaic, overloaded, overflowing, and none of this will change in our lifetime. CBF and similar organizations will continue to hold their hands out begging for more money and making the same claims that they will cleanse the bay's waters and make the pristine. Politicians will make the same brash claims, then increase taxes everyplace they can to garner additional funds. And, as usual, nothing, absolutely nothing, will be accomplished. People will continue to poop in the bay at an exponentially increasing rate.

Now, in order to feed all those newborns, we need to increase our agricultural production. More cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, ducks, geese, and other farm animals will need to be produced in smaller and smaller spaces, thus concentrating the animal wastes that no longer can be managed. We currently mandate manure barns for large scale chicken farms on Maryland's eastern shore, and at the same time, politicians turned down a proposal from a corporation to construct an electrical power plant that would incinerate the chicken manure during the production of electricity and steam. WHAT?

The question that comes to mind is why did anyone in their right mind think that dumping treated and raw sewage, and a host of industrial wastes into a body of water where we harvest a food-source think that it was a good idea? At DNR, EPA, MDE and many other similar agencies their mottos have always been "The solution to pollution is dilution." At least that's the ways it seems, and for the most part has been proven true.

Now, some on this forum may think I'm being cynical. However, after spending nearly 3/4s of a century plying and fishing the bay's waters, I think I'm just being realistic. I've heard and read every promise made by every politician and scientist over the years and watched the bay rapidly go downhill every single year. I've witnessed, firsthand, the bay's fisheries being raped by commercial interest. I, like all citizens of watershed areas, have been taxed to death by those that have created a cottage industry by studying Chesapeake Bay, an industry that has stolen billions of dollars from hard-working people throughout the region and shoveled it into their pockets.

Yes, I'm cynical, pissed, tired of battling politicians and left wingers, and in the next few weeks, you'll watch a lot more dollars being flushed down the toilet for absolutely no reason. That meeting in Annapolis will be attended by all the do gooders from CBF, DNR, state and federal agencies, they'll applaud the goals they claim to have reached, they'll pat each other on their backs and tell each other what a wonderful job they're doing. And when you put your boat back into this cesspool called Chesapeake Bay next spring, take a good look at the water. Do you for one minute think it looks better than it did in 1960? Think about it.

Gary :cool:
 

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I'm old enough to clearly remember when there were 1,500 boats anchored a the Dumping Grounds, a vast spoils area along the shores of Kent Island north of the Bay Bridges that stretched all the way to Love Point. They were recreational and charter fishing boats, all chumming with fresh-ground soft shell clams and using clam hearts for bait to catch striped bass (rockfish). Back then, early 1960s, you could see the fish swarming 10 feet beneath the surface as they wolfed down tiny morsels of clam that was ladled overboard to attract the stripers. In those days, the minimum size was 12 inches, and there was no bag limit, therefore, many boats returned to the docks with 150 to 200 fish onboard for 4 to 5 anglers to split up. Nothing went to waste, the fish were usually scaled, gutted and beheaded back then, the entrails and heads went to one of the processors that ground everything up for chicken and hog food and when the anglers got home, the neighbors were called and they had block party fish fries. When I sailed south last fall, I didn't see a single school of breaking fish for the entire length of Chesapeake Bay, and only saw a couple dozen recreational anglers near Solomons and Point Lookout. How things have changed.

Gary :cool:
 

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Let's not do anything else. I'll pump overboard, dump my trash. **** it.
I give up too, after being a CBF ambassador and having to explain why they can build a $$$ facility that juts out in to the river, while a nearby land owner has to abide by pages of rules, CBPA, and a host of Fed/COE regulations. Will has an explanation for everything. I could not tell a property owner why CBF or Anne Arundel County can do something the rest of us can not.

As a test, If you live(d) or sailed on the bay or adjacent area.....WHEN was the last time you read about or saw something actually being done to improve the Bay, the water, or reducing the amount of sewage flowing in to the bay from "treatment" plants. Excuses, 9,999 gal spills, funny money fines, and unlimited building permits for impervious surfaces.

See the WaPo story about "lady bird" to understand (link below) how often raw sewage is routinely dumped after a rain/snow storm. Something about 53 stations dumping in to 3 tributaries, this is ONLY about the Potomac, Anacostia and Rock Creek. And that is just DC, think of all the cities and counties, then multiply that by the number of states in the watershed, etc.

Meet Lady Bird, a massive machine digging out a solution to D.C. wastewater woes - The Washington Post
 

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Thanks Gary.

I hear your frustration. You point clearly to the population problem in front of us, but which we refuse to face squarely.

I took the liberty of cross posting your words onto another forum where we are discussing the CA drought. I suspect that there too you can find decades of studies and warnings with no concrete viable action. That watershed population has far outgrown the areas ability to provide water. Apparently San Diego was last water self sufficient in 1947.

Your long memory helps ground us in what "normal" is, or should be.

Good job.
 

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I give up too, after being a CBF ambassador and having to explain why they can build a $$$ facility that juts out in to the river, while a nearby land owner has to abide by pages of rules, CBPA, and a host of Fed/COE regulations. Will has an explanation for everything. I could not tell a property owner why CBF or Anne Arundel County can do something the rest of us can not.

As a test, If you live(d) or sailed on the bay or adjacent area.....WHEN was the last time you read about or saw something actually being done to improve the Bay, the water, or reducing the amount of sewage flowing in to the bay from "treatment" plants. Excuses, 9,999 gal spills, funny money fines, and unlimited building permits for impervious surfaces.

See the WaPo story about "lady bird" to understand (link below) how often raw sewage is routinely dumped after a rain/snow storm. Something about 53 stations dumping in to 3 tributaries, this is ONLY about the Potomac, Anacostia and Rock Creek. And that is just DC, think of all the cities and counties, then multiply that by the number of states in the watershed, etc.

Meet Lady Bird, a massive machine digging out a solution to D.C. wastewater woes - The Washington Post
This project is amazing, thanks very much for posting the link.
This is a tangible product, an improvement, being paid for with ratepayer dollars. It will be fascinating to witness the benefits in years to come as the project is brought online.

A similar project should be undertaken in Baltimore, as soon as possible.
 

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Maryland DNR just posted a draft of the new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement for a commenting/opinions period and thought sailors who enjoy the bay might be interested. I know this isn't strictly related to sailing but I think those who sail inherently appreciate and respect nature including efforts to maintain/preserve all of natures wonders.

I have no affiliation or involvement whatsoever. I just sign up for alerts/postings from MDDNR.

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/...e-Bay.html?soid=1102789102673&aid=idbL4uB3ycA

Enjoy

Josh
BLAH BLAH BLAH, blahblah BLAH BLAH!

As has been commented on already, 500,000 gal raw sewage spills are an "oops" but God forbid you get caught w/ your diverter valve in the overboard position. Not that I have a problem w/ putting a holding tank in my boat (new one last fall!) But really, where is the real source of the Bay's pollution?

The little guy has always suffered the brunt of regulations whatever the issue while the big guys can pretty much do what they want. And in the end we all suffer. The Bay is pretty much crap. I too remember when you could actually see things in the water. Getting to the point now where I'm not sure I even want my boat in the water it's so dirty.
 

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Unfortunately, the bay will NEVER be cleaner than it is right now. The reason being is we will never have fewer people living in the bay watershed than we do right now - yep people are the problem. Every newborn child in the watershed area poops into Chesapeake Bay - not directly, at least most of the time, but that poop still ends up in the bay. And that newborn will do this for the next 79 to 82 years. Additionally, he or she will produce offspring that will do the same thing - poop in the bay. Our sewage treatment plants are archaic, overloaded, overflowing, and none of this will change in our lifetime.
Gary, I have worked in this field in various states for over 25 years and IMO what you write is great oversimplification. Wastewater treatment plants (municipal and industrial - the so called point sources) contribute only a very small percentage of nutrients and toxins that end up in the Bay. Perhaps less than 5% of the total man made stuff that gets there. The rest is mostly stormwater runoff from cities, fields, businesses, suburban sprawl and the like. No US politician is willing to attack that problem. Why? Because they sit in the pocket of various lobbies unwilling to spend the huge amount of money needed to tackle the problem of non-point sources of pollution. Of course it would help to upgrade and modernize the municipal treatment plants but it would not make a dent in the problem. You would be absolutely shocked to see the levels of nutrients and toxins making it's way into the creeks, rivers, and ultimately coastal estuaries after every rain event.
 

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As has been commented on already, 500,000 gal raw sewage spills are an "oops" but God forbid you get caught w/ your diverter valve in the overboard position.
Dude, do you think these spills are a result of some guy being asleep at the switch? You know nothing about how and why these spills happen. In almost every case they are a result of a heavy rain event, when a sewage pumping lift station gets clogged up or fried and the sewage starts coming out of manhole and runs off into the nearby creek. Sure, we could invest money into additional infrastructure, redundant lift stations in sensitive locations and so on. But as a country, we decided that it is more important to wage wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or blow taxpayer money on something equally stupid and worthless to the American People. :mad:
 

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Gary, I have worked in this field in various states for over 25 years and IMO what you write is great oversimplification. Wastewater treatment plants (municipal and industrial - the so called point sources) contribute only a very small percentage of nutrients and toxins that end up in the Bay. Perhaps less than 5% of the total man made stuff that gets there. The rest is mostly stormwater runoff from cities, fields, businesses, suburban sprawl and the like. No US politician is willing to attack that problem. Why? Because they sit in the pocket of various lobbies unwilling to spend the huge amount of money needed to tackle the problem of non-point sources of pollution. Of course it would help to upgrade and modernize the municipal treatment plants but it would not make a dent in the problem. You would be absolutely shocked to see the levels of nutrients and toxins making it's way into the creeks, rivers, and ultimately coastal estuaries after every rain event.
Good post and probably more of the truth than otherwise.

The turbidity of the Upper Chesapeake is beyond comprehension, at mid summer one can almost walk across the bay on top of the water because the 'turbidity' is so extreme. Many are now assigning that phenomenon to phosphorous 'release' from the agricultural soils that have built up over many many decades ... once thought that phosphorous would 'always' stay bound to the soil; but; apparently its not happening.

On the other hand, one only has to marvel at the expenditures in 'environment' that goes simply and almost exclusively to the benefit the 'legal industry' ... and you wonder why nothing ever gets accomplished. For instance, it has been estimated that 90-95% of the cost of the famous 'super funds' simply went for litigation and legal expenses. Maybe the 'true' pollution in the US has its root cause in simple "opportunistic shysterism".
The previous statement about lobbyists ownership of elected officials is the highest cause of ineffective 'government'; voters and citizens are only needed once every 2 or 4 years, but campaign money is desperately needed every damnn day.
 

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In my state (NC) I see up close and personal how the recently elected Republican governor is trying very hard to undo the decades of hard work that environmental professionals put into cleaning up the state's waterways - all to benefit big business of course. That is why IMO there should be no political appointments to state and federal agencies that handle environmental issues. The good governor appointed his pet stooge to head NCDENR, a guy with zero environmental education and zero environmental knowledge and direct experience. But on paper his environmental experience comes from being a CEO of a major government contractor working with land developers on wetland swaps and mitigation. He is slashing critical budgets (including drinking water safety monitoring), suspending new and existing regulations, removing people who dare to think and speak differently then he wants them to. Lots of professionals in that agency are too scared for their job to do it right.
 

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Had to turn this into a gop bash eh?
This started with complaints about the state of Maryland and their gross mismanagement over the last 20+ years. Nobody mentioned which party has been in control in Annapolis for the bulk of this time. But you had to make this all about evil republicans.
 
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