The commentary, “Bay Program must account for its overestimated numbers” (Bay Journal, April 2004) by Howard Ernst confirmed my worst fears.

It is truly shocking that Bay cleanup policy is, in essence, being driven by an invalidated model. Legitimate use of such a model demands that it be validated with real world sampling data. And it’s most definitely not an “either/or” proposition. The cost of using monitoring data, while expensive, should not be a reason for not doing at least enough to validate key assumptions in the model.

For myself, the entire effort of the Bay cleanup is called into question.

Human and financial resources are seemingly being squandered while the public thinks such resources are making meaningful strides toward cleaning up the Bay, when, in fact, the effort is literally swimming in circles.

Almost everyone wants to see the Bay cleaned up and publications like yours seem to give hope that we are making progress. But basing the foundation of the cleanup effort on a flawed model is more than disappointing to me. What I see is a cheerleading ruse being perpetrated on the public.

Where is the accountability for our current and past efforts and why should any of us believe that pouring more money into this effort will actually result in gains for the Bay?

As much as I care for the environment in general, and the Bay in particular, I think that until we correct this flawed approach, more money is not the answer. We need to get it right and we need to do it now.

Larry Gross
Spotsylvania, VA