Activists Hope To Clean Up Chesapeake Bay's 'Horror Story' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Activists Hope To Clean Up Chesapeake Bay's 'Horror Story'

Play associated audio
Environment America staffers at a cleanup of the Anacostia River.
Jessica Gould
Environment America staffers at a cleanup of the Anacostia River.

A team of volunteers and staffers with the advocacy group Environment America are going trick or treating along the Anacostia River. But instead of collecting candy, they’re filling their bags with Styrofoam cups, empty beer bottles, and abandoned tires. 

"I’ve done these kinds of cleanups before and it’s the typical stuff. There’s nowhere else to put it so why not dump it where no one else will find it," says Rebecca Rehr, a graduate student at the University of Maryland. Picking up trash isn’t scary, she says. But the people who litter are. 

"I think at this point people know what they’re doing and they know it won’t biodegrade and they’re still doing it," she says. "I think that’s the scariest part." 

In fact, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are a virtual horror story of pollution, according to Environment America associate Sarah Hyman. 

"Every day, trash, runoff and debris wash into the Anacostia River turn and make its way to the Chesapeake Bay," Hyman says. 

Meanwhile, she says, more than 1 billion pounds of chicken waste flow into the bay every year, creating massive algae blooms and oxygen-deprived dead zones. "Marine wildlife literally try to swim out of the dead zones to try to survive but if they get caught they suffocate," she says.  Development along the bay also means area wetlands are disappearing fast; Hyman cites figures showing that Maryland has lost 75 percent of its wetlands. 

So Hyman is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to increase protections for wetlands and strengthen regulations limiting pollution and runoff. 

"People shouldn't be afraid of fishing, swimming and drinking from the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed," she says. The activists hope by next Halloween, the bay will be a little less scary.

NPR

'American Crime' And 'The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Highlight The TV Revolution

Tina Fey co-created the quirky comedy The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for Netflix; John Ridley made the emotionally raw drama American Crime for ABC. TV critic David Bianculli says they're both good.
NPR

Spain's Wine Exports Soar 22 Percent — But Profits Fall

Spain's wine industry had a record year in 2014, posting numbers that could propel it past Italy as the world's biggest wine exporter. But most of the wine was sold cheaply, in bulk.
NPR

Senate Fails In Bid To Override Obama's Veto On Keystone XL Pipeline

The final vote was 62-37 – short of the two-thirds needed to override the presidential veto.
WAMU 88.5

Transportation App Bridj Has Bus-Sized Ambitions For D.C.

It works similar to other ride-sharing apps, in that you establish a location and destination, and order a ride. But you'll be shown where to catch a Bridj bus, instead of getting a vehicle at your door.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.