Dumping dredge into the bay is always a bad idea The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 26, 2000

Dumping dredge into the bay is always a bad idea

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation was encouraged to read that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is beginning to realize the significant impact of the proposed dredge dumping at Site 104 ("U.S. stalls dumping into bay," Jan. 13)

We noted especially the remark from James White, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration: "We don' t want to press forward with this until or unless the science says it's a good idea."

We can assure Mr. White that the science will never say it's a good idea to dump 18 million cubic yards of dredge spoil into the bay.

Dumping dredge spoil anywhere in the bay is and always will be a bad idea, because it adds silt, releases nutrients and destroys habitat.

Proponents of dumping at Site 104 say the additional pollution will have only a modest effect on the bay. This is true only if Site 104's impacts are trivialized by comparison to all nutrient and sediment loads and habitat impacts across the bay.

Two million pounds of nitrogen released at Site 104 may be minor compared to the 72 million pounds of nitrogen annually into the bay, but it dwarfs the annual load (80,000 pounds) discharged by the nearest major source, the Kent Island waste water treatment plant.

Almost all the pollution coming into the bay is "modest," taken in isolation. It is the totality that has sent the bay reeling.

That is why the citizens, acting through our government, have asked businesses, boaters, homeowners and farmers to reduce the pollution they discharge. It is simply unfair to allow government itself, in this case the Maryland Port Administration, to increase its pollution.

Overboard disposal of dredged material is not, and never will be, a good idea, anywhere in the bay.

If we're serious about cleaning up the bay, it's time to stop this practice -- at Site 104 and everywhere else.

Michael F. Hirshfield

Theresa Pierno

Annapolis

The writers are, respectively, the vice president for resource protection and the executive director, Maryland office, of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Black bears need continued protection

The Maryland Sportsmen's Association is asking the Maryland Wildlife Advisory Commission to establish a black bear hunting season ("State considers proposal to allow black bear hunts," Jan. 20).

Maryland has an estimated 400 black bears, who roam the mountains and glades of Allegany and Garrett counties.

These "wonders of nature" are here because they are hunted heavily in our neighboring states. Maryland has become their sanctuary.

The black bear was an endangered species in Maryland a couple decades ago. But because of the dedicated work of the men and women of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the black bear has made a comeback.

There may come a time when the return of the black bear to Western Maryland will call for a harvest of these wonderful animals for their protection. But this should be left to qualified people such as those at the DNR -- not to sportsmen's organizations who seek to promote hunting.

Until that time comes, we should do our part for the bears by supporting programs sponsored by the DNR, such as Maryland's black bear stamp .

Paul H. Inskeep Sr.

Dundalk

The Sun's coverage of a hearing by the Department of Natural Resources advisory group on black bears has finally turned up the elusive "honest man" sought by Diogenes many centuries ago.

The honest man was Larry Albright, president of the Maryland Sportsmen's Association.

Mr. Albright said Maryland "residents are being asked to tolerate the problems that come with a healthy black bear population" but "denied the recreational activity afforded our neighbors" in states which allow the shooting of black bears.

He mentioned nothing about a species that needs to be harvested because of overpopulation. Mr. Albright just wants to be entertained by shooting bears.

Unbelievable.

Randall Miller

Ocean View, Del.

New city officials provide a ray of hope

Isn't it refreshing to see a police commissioner who supports his officers without waiting to see how the political wind is blowing ("Daniel defends helping man seeking gun," Jan. 8)?

I don't want to speak prematurely, but I believe Baltimore finally has a winning team with its new mayor and police commissioner.

Now if The Sun can maintain some objectivity in its reporting, that team, with the support of citizens, should have a favorable impact on crime.

Robert L. Di Stefano

Abingdon

The writer is a retired Baltimore City police officer.

As a citizen of Baltimore since 1982 and a former city employee, I cannot recall reading a more encouraging article than "Ex-public works official Winfield returns -- on top," Jan. 4).

After George Winfield was arbitrarily ousted by the city previous administration, it is wonderful to learn that his loyalty and faithful service are finally being rewarded by the current one.

Most encouraging of all is that the mayor specifically cited Mr. Winfield's decency and honesty as qualifying him for a top city post.

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