Public must support Chesapeake clean-up goals

September 14, 2010

The Chesapeake Bay is one of America's greatest natural resources. It is the largest estuary in the United States. Unfortunately, chicken mega-farms threaten this fragile ecosystem. The run-off from these farms devastates the natural chemistry of the water. Nitrogen and phosphorus replace oxygen, choking off ecologically significant native species.

Maryland has made significant progress in reducing this waste in past years, but a great deal remains to be done. As development continues, we need to focus on containing the nitrogen waste that comes with it.

Gov. Martin O'Malley's Chesapeake Bay Restoration Plan proposes some good goals for nitrogen waste reduction in the next few years. It is important that citizens show their support for these goals at the upcoming public hearings ("4 hearings set on state bay restoration plan," Sept. 14). Hopefully they will also encourage further action, including legal change to back up the many voluntary programs in the restoration plan.

Alex McHugh, Washington

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