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Bay Foundation head: Will Sen. Pipkin be part of the solution?

I agree with much of what Sen. E. J. Pipkin wrote in his Baltimore Sun op-ed, "Is the Bay Foundation ignoring the threat behind the Conowingo Dam?" published on November 27.

For instance the Susquehanna River, draining approximately 50 percent of Pennsylvania, is an enormous source of pollution to the Chesapeake. This has been clearly established by the best scientific monitoring and modeling for decades. It is one more example of why the science behind the Chesapeake Bay restoration is the best in the world.

The impact of the Susquehanna River on the Chesapeake Bay is why the Chesapeake Bay Foundation opened an office in Harrisburg, Pa., in 1986. We have been the primary bay environmental advocacy force in Pennsylvania since then, working to reduce pollution affecting the Chesapeake. And we have had modest success in spite of tremendous odds against us.

Since then, nitrogen pollution entering the bay from the Susquehanna has been reduced by over 15 percent. But the Susquehanna flow still has a real impact on water quality in the bay. With our mutual agreement on this fact, perhaps Senator Pipkin would be willing to use your significant influence to arrange a meeting between the two of us and Pennsylvania's Gov. Tom Corbett. He could make the further strides in pollution reduction flowing from Pennsylvania to Maryland that are so critically needed. This would improve water quality in the surface and ground water in Pennsylvania for the benefit of Pennsylvania citizens as well.

Finally, we hope and trust that Senator Pipkin realizes that Maryland must continue to use good science to further address locally generated pollution from all sources to improve water quality for our citizens who want to enjoy the many rivers and streams which are currently impaired. All of us are part of the problem, and all of us must be part of the solution. Senator Pipkin, let's work together, not try to pick polarizing fights that only serve to slow bay restoration progress, rather than accelerate it.

William C. Baker, Annapolis

The writer is president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

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