Furious over threats to the bay [Letter]

November 26, 2013

I speak on behalf of all those who are passionate about the health of the Chesapeake Bay when I say I am furious ("Farm pollution rule withdrawn," Nov. 18).

It seems like with every passing week, there is another story about dead zones, or fisheries in decline, or harbor businesses struggling; but no mention of meaningful attempts to restore the bay.

The crazy thing is, we have the solutions to clean up the bay. We've known for years what we need to do to bring our state's most idyllic waterway back to its former glory. We know, but we've come up against a brick wall time after time.

There was supposed to be a hearing this week to determine whether the Maryland Department of Agriculture should delay implementing a phosphorous management tool on farms. This tool has been proven to reduce phosphorous runoff and better control the use of manure on farm fields; it represents a critical solution to our pollution problem. Most of the pollutants that go into our streams, rivers and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay, are due to excessive phosphorus.

But the hearing was canceled for unclear reasons. Corporate agribusinesses want to delay the tools' implementation because their agenda is a higher priority than the health of the bay and everyone affected by it.

The people of Maryland are serious about protecting our treasured waterway, and we are tired of being disappointed. We need the MDA to stop dragging its feet and ensure the timely implementation of this indispensable tool.

Talya Tavor

The writer is a field organizer for Environment Maryland.

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