Give the Bay your word, address, gift
As Yogi Berra may have put it, going to this year's Executive Council meeting seemed like deju vu all over again.
Only days before, I stumbled across an article I wrote from the first Executive Council meeting I attended, in 1991. At that meeting, the council approved an "action agenda," the first element of which was "to achieve a greater rate of nutrient reduction in the Chesapeake Bay watershed."
The commitment was made in response to a report issued several months earlier, which warned that the nutrient reduction goal set for 2000 might not be met and called for a "heightened commitment and sense of urgency to continue our efforts to control excess nitrogen and phosphorus levels."
That warning proved true: The 2000 goal was missed. Ironically, one of the 1991 council members was Tayloe Murphy, then a member of the Virginia House of Delegates (and later a Virginia natural resource secretary) who was representing the Chesapeake Bay Commission at the meeting. At the meeting, Murphy warned that only those willing to take on the tough jobs would "taste the fruits of victory."
Now, Murphy (as well as three other former council members) have joined the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's planned lawsuit against the EPA over the failure to clean up the Bay.
At this year's meeting, the failure to meet a 2010 cleanup goal led to calls from current Executive Council members to accelerate their pollution control efforts.
The twist this year is a pledge to set goals in more modest, two-year increments, so cleanup leaders can be held more accountable in the future.
It is hoped that the pledge by current council members to improve accountability will bring better results. No one wants a deja vu all over again 17 years from now, with today's council members suing over a Chesapeake that's still dirty.
Keep in touch
It's not often we hear from readers in the Rocky Mountains, but Doug Abderhalden, an avid Bay Journal fan for many years, recently called to update his mailing address to keep up with what's happening around the Bay.
Abderhalden, who lives in Meridian, ID, used to be a wetland specialist at the Maryland Department of the Environment years ago, but more recently worked for the Idaho Division of Environmental Quality in stormwater permitting.
"It's nice to hear what's going on in the old stomping grounds," he said. And he's using the paper to help a new generation appreciate an estuary nearly a continent away. "I pass it on to my kids when I'm done with it."
It's a help to us if everyone keeps their address up to date. Because the Bay Journal is mailed at bulk rate, it typically is not automatically forwarded by the Postal Service. So if you are moving (or if your address is just incorrect) please take a moment to fill out this form.
Change of addresses usually take about one to two issues to process. And, mail the changes to the Jacobus address-not the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay; the Alliance has to forward them here, which can sometimes delay the update.
Gifts that keep on living
It's the season of giving, points out Bay Naturalist Kathy Reshetiloff (See "Here's a 'wish list' for the Chesapeake Bay") and commentary author Katherine Unger (See "Where the environment is concerned, small change not only makes sense but saves dollars.)
Is money tight this holiday season? Most of their suggested gifts and actions don't cost a cent and may even save money on your energy, automobile or landscaping budgets. Plus, they help the environment and the Bay-an added gift to everyone.
Often these actions are fun-check out the listings in Bulletin Board. Several of the nature centers are offering workshops to make Christmas decorations and gifts out of natural or recycled materials.
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