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Tell Harford County to protect Otter Point Creek from stormwater pollution | READER COMMENTARY

Recreational waters are valuable to Harford County’s citizens. However, a favorite place for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, bird-watching, wildlife viewing, and school fieldtrips is threatened. Otter Point Creek in Abingdon is a protected reserve but is in jeopardy from impending polluted stormwater.

The permit granting the release of polluted water is currently under review because of criticism from the Gunpowder Riverkeeper, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and people who enjoy the recreational waters. Harford County can stop the pollution but needs to know residents strongly support the protection of Otter Point Creek.

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Healthy water flowing into the reserve provides enjoyable recreational waters. Just upstream, a forest filters stormwater which is critically important to protect water quality in the stream. However, the forest is scheduled to be converted to 300 acres of impervious pavement for Abingdon Business Park. The development will pollute the stormwater that flows into the reserve. Harford County’s Otter Point Creek Reserve would become a degraded Chesapeake Bay recreation area, not protected for its citizens and wildlife.

Harford County oversees the stormwater management plan and will allow polluted stormwater to enter the reserve unless convinced to change it. The plan needs to be amended to preserve water quality. Support Otter Point Creek by contacting Harford County about Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Permit No. 19-NT-0228/201961268.

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Once the pollution starts, good water quality is unattainable. Harford County citizens should not suffer the loss of recreational waters.

Kathy Baker-Brosh, Abingdon

The writer is the president of the Otter Point Creek Alliance

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