Dear Santa,

For this holiday season, I humbly ask for the following. I hope it is not an unreasonable list. It certainly doesn’t seem so to me. After all, this is 2015 in the United States of America, a country which is quick to tell every other country in the world what they should and should not do.

Here’s my list:

  • An environmental literacy requirement for high school graduation in all Bay states, not just Maryland
  • Upstream users who care enough about downstream neighbors to make sure that they do not pollute the water
  • Regulatory agencies that actually regulate
  • Judges who impose penalties on polluters that actually deter future pollution
  • Cities with wastewater pipes that neither leak sewage nor allow stormwater to enter
  • All states are on track to fulfill their promises to meet the 2017 and 2025 Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint goals
  • Smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna river free of lesions and disease. Ditto other fish throughout the watershed
  • Healthy, natural oyster reefs covering the Bay bottom — even creating a hazard to navigation
  • Farm lobbying associations that advocate for clean water, not fight against it
  • Healthy vegetated buffers filtering pollutants from local waterways and beautifying Chesapeake country
  • Surface waters and groundwater that are a safe source of drinking water
  • And for number 12 — I know this is asking a lot — I sure would like a Bay that has water the way it was designed: without a dead zone!