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U.S. Senate threatens key Chesapeake Bay protections

Having moved to Maryland two years ago, I've learned something about its people: Marylanders stand up for the Chesapeake Bay. A healthy bay underlies the regional economy and is a fundamental part of our rich heritage.

Four decades ago, Congress took action to protect places like the bay with the passage of the hallmark Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

These laws protect the bay for crabbers, oystermen, sailors and swimmers alike, while also protecting characteristic Maryland wildlife like the piping plover and the Maryland darter.

But in an era of rigid ideology, laws that work are abandoned. Such is the case with a water resources bill that could be considered by the full Senate as soon as Wednesday. Provisions in the legislation threaten to undo protections of the past 40 years. In true Maryland fashion, Sen. Ben Cardin was the only senator to raise concerns about this bill in its committee hearing on March 20th.

As close as we are to our nation's capital, it seems that Washington doesn't always look out for our interests.

We hope Senator Cardin will continue his efforts to get these provisions stricken from the final bill. Marylanders won't trade the bay for the sake of political expediency, and neither should the U.S. Senate.

Sara Gonzalez-Rothi Kronenthal

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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