Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, now a tourist destination, used to house oyster canneries that have since disappeared in part because of Chesapeake Bay pollution.
By Cathy Duchamp
Hundreds of millions of federal dollars have been set aside for Chesapeake Bay cleanup. But money might not be enough.
Former Maryland State Senator Gerald Winegrad told a crowd of environmentalists in Baltimore this weekend that the Chesapeake Bay cleanup has been thwarted by the politics of postponement. He points to a bill up for debate in Annapolis this week that would delay storm-water pollution control measures before they even take effect.
Winegrad says its time for people to get mad.
"It was citizen engagement that tore down the Berlin Wall," he says. "What I think we need to do is marching and even to the point of considering civil disobedience, to get people's attention to say 'we can't let this great estuary die.'"
Maryland homebuilders say they're being asked to shoulder too much of the costs of the bay cleanup, and that new storm-water management rules would cost the state construction jobs.
Farmers across the Chesapeake region echo cost concerns over new federal requirements to cut pollution. But the Environmental Protection Agency has the power of an executive order to enforce change.