Chesapeake Bay Gets Federal Help

By Megan Pratz

The Obama administration yesterday announced its long-promised plan to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay, including tougher curbs on pollution and expanded programs to protect land from development.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson detailed the plan at a news conference along the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. Many of its elements already had been announced in the 12 months since President Obama issued an executive order directing federal agencies to draft plans to clean up what he called a “national treasure.”

This week, everyone seemed eager to share their opinions of the clean-up effort.

Scientist Kent Mountford spoke to Capital News Service earlier this week about his fears for the bay.

“The Obama administration sort of gave a real firm charge to the EPA to come on, get it together, let’s clean up the Chesapeake Bay. But the resources, the muscle is not there,” Mountford said.

Mountford is an avid sailor who retired from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to enjoy the bay before it dies: “I go out on my boat and try to soak up some of what’s left.”

And it’s not just people speaking up.

Choose Clean Water, a meta-coalition, encompassing 40 different activism groups, released a letter about the federal plans. The Baltimore Sun said its chief concerns are “tough consequences” for states if they fail to uphold the federal standards.

About Us

Bay on the Brink is a multimedia reporting project examining the fate of the Chesapeake Bay. It is produced by fellows at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism as part of News21, a consortium of journalism schools. This is the fellows' blog. The full project site is here:
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