Bay Journal

Lynton S. Land

We can’t improve the Bay’s water quality without addressing manure

Despite decades of concern, beginning seriously with the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1977, water quality improvement in the Chesapeake Bay after 40 years is disappointingly small.

Most of the action has been focused on reducing urban point-source pollution. The reason water quality has not improved significantly is simple. The largest source of pollution, inefficient crop...

Common sense the best tool for regulating phosphorus

The argument over Maryland’s phosphorus management tool is a sad commentary on how the “profit now and damn the future” philosophy for special interests shapes politics and our society.

The convoluted tool, like the permissive “Phosphorus Index,” would reduce phosphorus pollution slightly, but not nearly as much as simple common sense.


Restoration of the Chesapeake ecosystem is impossible

The word “restore” means to bring back, reinstate or return to a former condition, and is commonly used, incorrectly, by organizations and people promoting improved water quality and ecosystem health of the Chesapeake Bay (and elsewhere).

“Restoration” might be possible on a small scale, such as a stream’s riparian buffer, but no thinking person should ever apply the word to...

Oysters are for eating not treating water quality

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Geological Survey recently published a study proposing that more oysters could significantly improve Potomac River estuary water quality. But the idea is unrealistic.

A 1946 paper states: “ the late 1800s it [the oyster harvest] averaged approximately 1,600,000 bushels.” Given 300 market-size oysters per bushel,...

We cannot ignore the impact of the inefficient agricultural fertilization

Two forum pieces in the November 2010 Bay Journal-"NY Phosphorus Index may not be perfect, but has served state well" and "Do we want to save the Bay by destroying other ecosystems?"-extol the virtues of agricultural management of phosphorus in New York and complain about the economic consequences to global society of banning the land application of animal waste in the Chesapeake...

Hatcheries, not artificial reefs, most effective way to restore oysters

In "Draft Bay strategy outlines plans for clean water, restoration, climate change" [December 2009], the director of EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program Office advocated eight "federal initiatives that address the challenges facing the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed." One of the initiatives is that "[National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Army Corps of Engineers] will lead...

Reduce nutrient pollution where it will be most meaningful: animal waste

Chase Tanner's plea for "alternative uses [to land application] for manure" in "More support needed in pursuing alternative uses for manure," [July/August] is on the right track.

Whereas conventional single-application chemical nitrogen fertilization is on the order of 65 percent efficient, using animal waste as fertilizer is less then 50 percent efficient and sewage sludge is...

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About Lynton S. Land

William M. Eichbaum was chair of the Oyster Advisory Commission, 2007-2011.


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