2019-01-19 / Viewpoints


Save The Bay

Dear editor:

On Jan. 7, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) announced that the “state of the bay” report card had slipped to D-plus.

Massive environmental rollbacks in clean-water and clean-air regulations proposed by the Trump Administration may make achieving a restored bay more difficult. Another hurdle is the fact that science expects more extreme weather events as the result of climate change.

To assess the bay, CBF scientists compile and examine 13 indicators in three categories.

For pollution, toxics were unchanged, while water clarity, and nitrogen and phosphorus pollution were worse. For habitat, scores for grasses and resource lands improved, and buffers and wetlands remained the same. For fisheries, scores for oysters, crabs, and rockfish remained the same, while the score for shed declined.

The Clean Water Blueprint requires decreased pollution to local creeks, rivers, and the bay. State and local governments have committed to achieve specific, measurable reductions. The states agreed to complete the job by 2025.

Pennsylvania continues to be far short of its goals, mostly as a result of falling behind in addressing pollution from agriculture.

But Pennsylvania’s farmers are facing tough economic times and can’t implement the necessary practices on their own. The Commonwealth must join Maryland and Virginia to fund proven clean water initiatives to help farmers. If the state legislature does not, EPA must hold Pennsylvania accountable.

Now is the time for Pennsylvania’s elected leaders to invest in practices, places, and partnerships that will bring the plan into reality. Investing in nature-based efforts, like strategically placed trees alongside streams and streets, rotational grazing, and farm field cover crops, will result in more productive farms, vibrant communities, healthy streams, and a saved bay.

William C. Baker
CBF President

Left Behind

Dear editor:

Our Federal Reserve chairman should walk through the department stores and restaurants and interview the people working for $10 an hour or less. That is where a large part of youth and retired people work.

I did just that, focusing on some of the small towns that have suffered grave demise from their heydays. And, I also included in my query whether these people had benefited from the federal tax cut. None did.

A majority of people are not doing anything but living from paycheck to paycheck in this purported “booming economy.” If the Federal Reserve continues to hike interest rates, not only will it kill the markets, but it will injure the spirit of our struggling majority.

There is the Dow, and then there is the dire reality of so many people of this country.

We all know who will benefit the most: the banking sector and the very wealthy who benefited from the tax cuts.

Diane Esser

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