Monday, November 24, 2008

Two-year milestones set to speed Chesapeake Bay restoration

Environment News Service: To accelerate progress toward cleaning up the nation's largest estuary, the Chesapeake Executive Council agreed at its annual meeting on Thursday to set restoration milestones every two years. These milestones will focus the partnership on achieving the Chesapeake Bay Program's science-based goals to reduce excess levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that degrade water quality and damage habitats.

The specific milestones will be calculated in spring 2009, once the most current scientific data becomes available, and will be announced at the next Executive Council meeting, which will also be held in spring 2009. The decision to set short-term goals comes after the Executive Council confirmed at its 2007 meeting that the Bay Program partnership would not meet its Chesapeake 2000 commitment to clean up the Bay by 2010.

"Setting goals that are a decade out, for example, do not create pressure to produce results," said Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine, the incoming Executive Council chairman. "We're going to change the way goals are set."

…Outside, about 200 activists in black shirts chanted "Don't Delay! Save the Bay!" as they slowly marched through the train station in black caps with pictures of skeletal fish. Their shirts read: "The Bay is Slowly Dying." The event was organized by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which on October 29 joined with allies in filing a notice of intent to sue the EPA for its failure to enforce the federal Clean Water Act and clean up the Bay by 2010 as it promised in a 2000 agreement.

"This is going to be the biggest fight for clean water that this nation has ever seen," Will Baker, president of the foundation, told a cheering crowd outside Union Station. "We are going to stop the politics of postponement," Baker insisted. "Clean water is a right, not a luxury. And it's a right that we have to fight for."

Satellite view of Chesapeake Bay, NASA

No comments: