Having been born in a fishing town in Maine and raised in Annapolis, one of the oldest ports on the Chesapeake Bay, I feel a strong connection to our nation's water and the things that live in it. Gov. Larry Hogan's recently proposed and loose regulations of poultry farm pollution have me and many others who share a love for Maryland's natural environment concerned.
Protesters gathered in Annapolis in order to bring awareness to the lackadaisical approach that Governor Hogan is assuming in his proposed regulations against phosphorous run-off from poultry farms into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries ("Stand firm on phosphorus," Feb. 25). While this is a hugely imminent threat to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, there is another far larger one that is affecting our entire nation. Due to loopholes in the Clean Water Act, 20 million acres of wetlands in the nation and 59 percent of Maryland's streams are left unprotected, a massive threat to the well-being of the bay, the many people who use these streams for drinking water and the wildlife that contribute to our state economy such as the blue crab.
While things may appear bleak, given the state of the Chesapeake today and the state of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed legislation that would close these loopholes that endanger our and many other states' waterways.
Sen. Ben Cardin has already stated his intentions to fight to protect the Clean Water Act but with an economy that is so dependent on shellfish consumption and export as Maryland is, we need to do more. In her remaining time in Congress, Sen. Barbara Mikulski should concern herself with the state of our waterways and stand up for protecting the Clean Water Act, not only for the crabs, but for the people who love them too, thus leaving a legacy of protecting clean water.
Caroline Aube, College Park
The writer is a communications major at the University of Maryland.