Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

The single most important thing people can do to save the bay

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Executive Director Alison Prost mentioedn some good ideas in her recent op-ed, but what's more important is what she didn't say ("New pollution regulations aren't enough for the Chesapeake Bay," July 15).

She didn't mention, for example, that the bay's poor condition is partly due to the timid recommendations the foundation has been issuing for 45 years, like buying local meat and planting bay-friendly landscapes, which produce only cosmetic reductions in pollutants.

The CBF website rightly criticizes the huge lobbying expenditures of the National Pork Producers Council and the National Chicken Council, but then features a recipe for a sausage dinner.

Ms. Prost could have said that each of us can help cut the meat industry's lobbying power by not buying pork and chicken. She didn't mention that our collective obsession with eating animal protein is the single largest factor in the bay's poor health.

In this region, the largest meat industries are chicken and pork, and whether they are "local" or factory-farmed doesn't matter much. In fact, Maryland chicken producers generate one million tons of untreated manure each year, and the bay doesn't much care if the manure is generated by a factory farm or by the "local" chicken farm in Baltimore County.

We can wait no longer. Based on past history, the bay will degrade even further while CBF re-arranges the deck chairs on our sinking ship and politics corrupts any noble efforts.

The single most important thing anyone can do for the bay doesn't require waiting for new regulations, new policy or new enforcement. Just stop eating pork and chicken, now.

Mark Rifkin, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Commercial fishing is regulated
    Commercial fishing is regulated

    Here's some things readers of The Sun should know about commercial fishing ("Rockfish poaching: It's more than just a few fish," Feb. 24). It is against the law to use gill nets in seven states: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Florida. It is also against...

  • Don't subsidize polluting coal plants
    Don't subsidize polluting coal plants

    Gov. Larry Hogan's backtracking on improving air quality for Marylanders means more unnecessary suffering and premature death for citizens and taxpayers through continued corporate welfare for coal plants ("Hogan issues new smog-fighting rule with 'flexibility' for coal plants," April 18).

  • A Maryland-style Earth Day pledge
    A Maryland-style Earth Day pledge

    Since 1970, Americans have set aside one day per year, April 22, to rally and make noise on behalf of the environment. First inspired by a California oil spill, Earth Day has always been about calling attention to problems and advocating for action. Much of it has been directed at government —...

  • Crabs claw their way back
    Crabs claw their way back

    Good news arrived last month well in advance of Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer and, at least in these parts, its requisite crab feasts. The Chesapeake Bay's blue crab population appears to be on an uptick, having recovered somewhat from a disastrous 2014.

  • Phosphorus rules, finally
    Phosphorus rules, finally

    As we have chided Gov. Martin O'Malley more than once on this page for dragging his feet on regulations intended to reduce the amount of polluting phosphorus pouring into the Chesapeake Bay from farms, it's only fair to herald his decision to move forward with the rules. That he chose to release...

  • Md. farmers are helping protect the bay
    Md. farmers are helping protect the bay

    The farmers in Baltimore County are more than agronomic professionals. Yes, we grow local fruits and vegetables, raise animals and tend to crops that provide the food, fuel and fiber to our community and the world. But did you know we also work every day to protect our waterways, soil and environment?...

  • A farmer's perspective on phosphorous management
    A farmer's perspective on phosphorous management

    From the time I graduated from college and returned to the farm, I have been dealing with government regulations, environmental extremists and animal rights activists.

  • Chesapeake Bay's surprising wins
    Chesapeake Bay's surprising wins

    Here's a sentence that nobody expected to be written this week: The 2015 legislative session turned out pretty well for the Chesapeake Bay and some other environmental causes. How that happened almost defies logic.

Comments
Loading

57°