Chesapeake Bay cleanup gaining momentum

July 22, 2011

The argument over who should take the lead in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay cleanup misses the point that change for the better is already on its way ("Harris has it right: Let states enforce pollution law," July 19).

Here in Dorchester County, the cleanup is gaining momentum precisely because all levels of government are on the same page. Sparked by the bay's new pollution diet and by assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency and the state, a group representing the farming community, city and county officials and citizens have made unprecedented progress toward putting together a concrete plan to clean up our waterways.

The Watershed Implementation Plan will combine the best of local restoration opportunities with regional know-how and accountability. For the first time, I have real hope that the Choptank, the Nanticoke and the Chesapeake Bay will be healthy waterways again.

That Rep. Andy Harris would vote to pull the plug on such important efforts — in his own district — is disappointing to say the least.

Until last year the federal government routinely shied away from its fair share of the responsibility for cleaning up the bay. Given our incredible natural resources (and the jobs that depend on them) the Eastern Shore deserves no less than full support from citizens across the region and all levels of government and industry.

It's a shame we can't count on that from one of our own elected representatives.

Beth Ann Lynch, Dorchester County

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