In the days following Dan Rodricks' column "Larry Hogan has a chance to be a green governor" (Dec. 13), your paper has been flooded with letters opposing the phosphorus management tool (PMT) regulations and opposing Mr. Rodricks position. On the surface it would seem that both letters in support and opposition should be taken equally, providing a balanced perspective. That is until you recognize that letters from environmental groups and environmentalists are letters which support the common good of the public and advance the cause of a cleaner environment for everyone.
Vacationing in Florida every holiday season for the past 30 years has given this Maryland waterkeeper a keen perspective on the effects of phosphorus pollution to local waterways. I've witnessed the destruction of the Indian River Lagoon from phosphorus pollution, kayaking my way through heavy mats of algae, and I've spoken to fisherman along these waterways who lament the loss of prime fishing grounds.
Every family, whether a farmer's family or a waterman's family or a teacher's family, has the right to clean water that is swimmable and fishable. The letters in opposition represent only the most narrow view point — support for an industry and a livelihood that has had free reign to pollute our waterways for the last 50 years. It's time to recognize the difference between selflessness and self-interest. It is time to do what is right, lower our phosphorus inputs, and begin healing the Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bays to everyone's benefit.
Kathy Phillips, Berlin
The writer is the Assateague Coastkeeper and executive director of the Assateague Coastal Trust.