Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening called for increased efforts to control nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake and its tributaries, warning that "never before has the need to do more, and do it faster, been put in such sharp relief."
Glendening was named the new Executive Council chair, replacing EPA Administrator Carol Browner, who served as the chair for the past two years.
Referring to the last summer's pfiesteria outbreak, Glendening said, "we must recognize that our actions on land have resulted in a very unhealthy reaction in the water."
He outlined several measures to bolster the state's basic cleanup blueprint, Maryland's Tributary Strategies.
These measures include:
- Increase funding for agricultural cover crops, which help keep nutrients from entering waterways during winter months.
- Seek national action on nonpoint source pollution to "level the playing field" for agriculture with national standards for nonpoint source discharges, so manufacturers or producers can't move from one place to another where they can continue to pollute. Glendening also said federal funding is needed to control nonpoint sources of nitrogen and phosphorus nationally.
- Create an educational initiative for schools, including a "Day on the Bay" for every high school student before he or she graduates.
- Establish new water quality goals for the Bay cleanup with the aid of the Bay Programs's updated Water Quality model.
- Implement and expand the recently announced $200 million Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, a federal/state cost-sharing partnership that will establish new buffers and protect scores of acres of wetlands on agricultural fields and along streams.
- Implement a new concept of "Ecosystem Management" on all state-owned lands that will bring the most up-to-date environmental land management techniques, such as BayScapes, green building, and low-impact development to all state property.