Anne Arundel County is one of two Maryland counties taking the lead in determining what it is going to take to meet the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) pollution requirements mandated by the EPA to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. As presented by the Department of Public Work’s (DPW) Ron Bowen to the Lower Western Shore Tributary Team in January, success is going to require a comprehensive approach with an eye-popping price tag for Anne Arundel alone of roughly $2.0 billion.
Every summer, our crabs, fish and oysters face a terrible menace to their survival – as much as 40+ percent of the Chesapeake Bay becomes a dead zone with insufficient oxygen for them to breathe. Not surprisingly, the Bay’s marine life is dying off. In the last seventeen years, the population of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay has plummeted 67%. Oysters, which used to be the Bay’s most profitable commercial fishery, have declined to 1% of the levels seen in the 1950s and 1960s. Fish kills of 100,000 or more fish at a time regularly occur each summer.
Governor O’Malley just announced a new program called Marylanders Plant Trees. As part of the state’s goal of planting 1 million new trees by 2011, the government will give you a coupon worth $25 off each purchase of a native tree costing $50 or more. Print out the coupon at Marylanders Plant Trees website, where you are also asked to register the trees you plant. What could be cooler?