Saturday, September 12, 2009

Obama administration releases Chesapeake Bay restoration plans

Environment News Service: The federal government is getting serious about solving the stubborn problem of cleaning up the polluted Chesapeake Bay and restoring the nation's largest estuary to health. In 2008, after 20 years of restoration efforts, Chesapeake Bay water quality was rated "very poor," with only 21 percent of the established goals met.

Proposing a mix of carrots and sticks, federal agencies today complied with President Barack Obama's May 12 Executive Order on the Chesapeake Bay by issuing seven draft reports on ways to reduce polluted runoff by increasing government accountability and public involvement.

"Communities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed expect and deserve rivers and streams that are healthy and thriving," U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told reporters on a teleconference call today. "The poor health of the Chesapeake remains one of our nation's more significant environmental problems."
Chesapeake Bay, the Severn River and Annapolis, Maryland (Photo by Gary Hymes)

…The recommendations in the reports were shaped by consultations with the six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the District of Columbia, as well as suggestions from stakeholders and the public. "We will use federal leadership, and federal muscle when necessary, to get states to realize the time of working without accountability is over. We must have accountability," Jackson said….

Stereoscopic view of oyster sloops on Chesapeake Bay, around 1896

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