That Banner Still Waves
Editor: I am proud to be an American. It is so gratifying to live in a country where leaders are not only interested in military endeavors but also consider the people at home and in combat. Everyone has handled this war so well -- both at home giving support to one another throughout the nation and in our leadership.
The United States has credibility, and that Star Spangled Banner still waves over the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Editor: Now that the war is over and our brave men and women are on their way home, it is time for reflection of the past two months. We as Americans were united at long last on a singular issue, as united as our forefathers dreamed of so long ago. The few protesters did not hinder the patriotic fever that swept this United States.
Let this not be a fad as other countries have accused us of doing. Where is the harm in keeping our flags flying year round in front of home, business and elsewhere? Let's keep those small flags on our cars, on our desks and walls. There's nothing wrong about getting a lump in your throat listening to the ''Star Spangled Banner,'' and ''God Bless America.''
So come on, America, stay united, stay supportive, now that we've beaten the odds of war, let's work to beat the odds on the home front.
Debra M. Cotter.
Sediment Control Does Help
Editor: I was genuinely surprised to read David C. Bramble's Feb. 20 letter from Chestertown concerning sediment control. Mr. Bramble is the owner of David A. Bramble, Inc., a major contractor on the Eastern Shore.
We certainly agree that every effort should be made to not allow poorly implemented or ineffective sediment controls to be constructed. State law requires that approved sediment-control plans be implemented on construction sites.
However, it is disturbing that Mr. Bramble should feel that the erosion and sediment control program is not beneficial to the state.
I believe the recent enforcement actions taken against Mr. Bramble's company and the stiff penalties assessed for its sediment-control violations are representative of the major enforcement actions this program is taking to insure compliance with the state's sediment control law.
For many years we have known that the two major causes of problems in the Chesapeake Bay are excessive nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, and sediment. An uncontrolled construction site without erosion and sediment controls can discharge up to 100 tons of sediment for every acre that is disturbed in a given year.
This is 50 times greater than the sediment load that would be expected from a meadow or forest area. Sediment discharges are responsible for smothering the aquatic and vegetative life of our streams and esturaries. This in turn impacts valuable commercial and sport fin and shellfish populations in the bay -- our crabs, oysters, clams, fish, etc.
The Corp of Engineers has estimated that in the next 20 years, from 1990 to 2010, more than 83 million cubic yards of maintenance dredging will have to be done in the Chesapeake Bay and Baltimore Harbor areas. A significant portion of these sediments come from construction sites. As a contractor, Mr. Bramble should be well aware of the costs of dredging sediment back out of our waterways, somewhere between $10 and $30 per cubic yard. Perhaps he also should talk to more watermen and sport fishermen for an appreciation of the costs to them of bay pollution.
Finally, Mr. Bramble is aware that the governor has made the state highway initiative in erosion and sediment control to be one of his Chesapeake Bay goals for 1990 and the future. It is the governor's desire to have the State Highway Administration be the model public agency to design, install and maintain erosion and sediment control on public works projects in Maryland. Our administration is also encouraging all other municipalities and counties to develop similar initiatives for their public works agencies.
In conclusion, erosion and sediment control is the law and is not only economical, but is good for the Chesapeake Bay and our local tributaries, helping to preserve and restore the resources Marylanders value so much.
Vincent H. Berg.
The writer is director of the Department of the Environment's Sediment and Stormwater Administration.
Editor: If someone accepts a governmental office, he is automatically opening himself up for the ridicule of those whose views are different from his. Most importantly, in a democracy, those who disagree with the politics of the current government have a right to express their views.