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Atlantic CoastWatch March - April, 2004

Meeting Chesapeake Goals News For Coastal Advocates

Spring 2004 brought freshets of bad news about the Bay=s ability to meet a
pollution reduction goals for 2010, as established in the Chesapeake 2000
Agreement, and a flurry of statements about where the $19 billion to achieve all
Chesapeake Goals 1
aspects of them might come from.

Concerns: Volunteers Plan Bridge 1

a Writing in Bay Journal, Chesapeake Bay Foundation President Sayings 2

William C. Baker warns that Acritical upgrades@ at sewage treatment plants are
needed to achieve the targeted reduction of more than 110 million pounds of Green Power for LI 3
nitrogen a year from point and non-point discharges. In view of widespread
political opposition to the upgrades, Baker warns, Athere is dangerous talk afield Ferry Crash Echoes 3
that the 2010 goal should be cast aside. Admitting failure before any realistic
attempt to implement it is disgraceful.@
Marine Gathering 3
a One of the recent major hiccups in assessing progress toward the goals,
says political scientist and Chesapeake Blues author Howard Ernst, is over- Publications 4
reliance by the EPA-led Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) on computer models.
Ernst argues that computer models with realistic data input may be a good tool Paper Stars Environment 4
for projecting change. But he finds them less useful in surveying current environ-
mental conditions, as shown by inconsistent results of water monitoring by the Courts & the Seashore 5
US Geological Survey and other institutions.
St. Croix Sewage 5
a In addition, Ernst cites overestimates of progress from 1987 through the
late 1990s, including claims of reaching a 40% reduction in phosphorus in 1999.
A more recent overestimate of the benefits of using best management practices Jersey Shore Cleanup 6
in agriculture came from assuming complete implementation and good mainte-
nance. Ernst maintains that the CBP=s mistakes and consequent delays in Atlantic Ozone Zone 8
remediation efforts have made the task ahead bigger and more expensive.
(Continued, p. 7) a

Patient Volunteers Plan Bridge
Back in 1996, citizens in Harpswell, Maine gathered to discuss an applica- People; Awards; Species &
tion to build a wharf in Dingley Cove on the New Meadows River. The cove lies Habitats; Restorations;
between the mainland and Dingley Island. According to one of the meeting Report Cards; Products;
participants, naturalist Elsa Martz, concern was expressed that siltation in the Funding
cove, whose clams are a $225,000 a year industry, would turn it into a salt marsh
unless a bridge replaced part of a causeway across its mouth. Since the 1950s, Atlantic CoastWatch is a bimonthly
this structure had blocked the cove from tidal flow. It would be a simple, $40,000 newsletter for those interested in the
matter to fashion such a bridge, said the wharf builder. AThat seemed surprisingly environmentally sound development
low and probably manageable,@ wrote Martz. ASo I offered to look into it.@ of the coastline from the Gulf of
Maine to the Eastern Caribbean.
Thus began a grueling seven years of often frustrating discussion and
negotiation about the project. After state biologists confirmed that the change Coastal News Nuggets, a daily news
would indeed benefit the clam flats, the wharf builder drew up plans for a clipping service, is available at
$60,000 wooden bridge. That scheme faltered when it was learned that the town
(Continued, p. 8) All services provided free of charge.
Atlantic CoastWatch
Vol. 8, No. 2 Sayings
A project of the Sustainable The following timely information is excerpted from a comprehensive
Development Institute, which article in the Audubon Naturalist News, April 2004, by Cliff Fairweather, an
seeks to heighten the environ- Audubon Naturalist Society staff member based in Leesburg, VA.
mental quality of economic
Periodical cicadas are one of the great natural phenomena of the eastern
development efforts, in coastal deciduous forest. Twelve broods of 17-year cicada and three broods of the more
and in forest regions, by commu- southern 13-year cicada emerge on different schedules in different regions of the
nicating information about better eastern half of the United States. They occur nowhere else in the world.
policies and practices. SDI is
classified as a 501(c)(3) non-for- Brood X, one of the largest, most widespread periodical cicada broods
profit organization, exempt from and covering at least 15 states, including the Washington, DC region, last
federal income tax. emerged in 1987. I vividly recall driving down I-66 near Manassas, Virginia, with
the car windows open, and hearing clearly the cicadas over the considerable din
of traffic. I was awed by this auditory expression of cicada abundance. Now, 17
Board of Directors
years later, the progeny of that emergence are digging their way topside.
Freeborn G. Jewett, Jr., Chair
Impressively loud, periodical cicada song measures at around 100
Robert J. Geniesse, Chair Emeritus
decibels, comparable to a lawnmower and only slightly below a chainsaw. Only
Roger D. Stone, President
the male cicadaBwhose sound producing organ is a ridged membrane called a
Hart Fessenden, Treasurer
tymbalBsings, which it does primarily to attract females. Powerful muscles flex
Hassanali Mehran, Secretary
these membranes like drum heads to produce a sound that is then amplified by
David P. Hunt
the male=s hollow, resonating abdomen. Both males and females hear the
Gay P. Lord
males= songs through their tympana, another membrane on the other side of
Simon Sidamon-Eristoff
their abdomens.
Scientific Advisory Council
Seventeen years underground has its advantages for a slow, vulnerable,
long lived insect larva. It offers safety from most predators and the other
Gary Hartshorn
dangers of a surface life. The exact cue for emergence is not fully understood,
Stephen P. Leatherman
although soil temperature may be an important factor.
Jerry R. Schubel
Christopher Uhl
Some time between mid-May and early June, the nymphs will depart
their subterranean nurseries at night and climb up a tree trunk, fence post, wall,
or any other handy structure. Nocturnal emergence helps reduce the risk of
predation, especially by birds. Once an emerged nymph has reached a suitable
Roger D. Stone, Director & President
location, it grips the surface firmly with its front claws in preparation for the final
Shaw Thacher, Project Manager
molt in which its back splits open and it wriggles free of its nymphal exoskeleton.
Robert C. Nicholas III, Contr. Editor
Sarah Dixon, Program Associate
Female cicadas will leave up to a total of 400 eggs. In 6 to 10 weeks, the
nymphs hatch out, fall to the ground, and dig into the soil below their host tree
Foundation Donors
or shrub. Adult cicadas can live 4 to 6 weeks unless they meet with a predator,
accident, or disease. The odds that any one cicada will survive long enough to
Avenir Foundation
mate and reproduce are pretty good.
The Fair Play Foundation
The Madriver Foundation
The most harm a cicada can do is bump into you. Other than that,
The Moore Charitable Foundation
they=re pretty benign-Bwild rumors of cicadas flying en masse into people=s
The Curtis and Edith Munson
mouths notwithstanding. Their only objective is to reproduce, not to make life
miserable for us. They=ll be gone after only a few weeks and their progeny won=t
emerge for another 17 years. I hope you=ll join me in marveling at this display of
Sponsored Projects
natural abundance.
Environmental Film Festival in the
Nation’s Capital March 10-20, 2005
Coastal News Nuggets Upgraded !
Featuring screeenings of docu-
mentary, feature, archival, According to CoastWatchers’ requests, the News Nugget interface on the
children’s and animated films. Atlantic CoastWatch web site has been significantly improved. Nuggets are now
updated daily instead of weekly, and users may display newsclippings according
to region/state, timeframe or subject. These and other improvements make News
Nuggets the most comprehensive source of free regional environmental news.

Green Power for LI We most regretfully report the

death of Laura Wood Roper on
In response to New York Governor George Pataki=s statewide empha- December 6, at the age of 92,
sis on promoting renewable energy, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) after a series of strokes. Laura
has come up with an innovative scheme for its customers. Under the authority=s served as Correspondent to
Green Choice Program, they can opt to pay an extra 2 cents per kilowatt-hour to Atlantic CoastWatch since 1999,
buy power generated upstate via non-polluting technologies such as windmills, sending us news reports both
solar, or biomass, rather than from non-renewable sources closer by. from her winter home in Wash-
ington, NC and from Cotuit, MA,
A customer may choose to buy all billed consumption from green where she spent her summers.
sources, or increments of 25%, 50%, or 75%. A user buying 25% green on a She was well known as the
monthly bill of $96, reports Newsday, would pay a modest premium of $3.84. author of FLO, a widely praised
biography of Frederick Law
LIPA says it is too early to gauge customer reaction to the scheme, Olmsted, and many other works
which was approved by its board on March 24. But it reports Avery strong on paper. We miss her discern-
support from all of our local environmental groups,@ including two with powerful ing eye and quiet but sharply
networking capabilities: the Citizens Campaign for the Environment and the etched comments, and offer our
Long Island Neighborhood Network. There is, on the other hand, some respects and deep sympathy to
skepticism about how green the green power suppliers really are. And, reports family members.
one local environmental leader, AThere are people out there who just love to hate
LIPA, no matter what they do.@ Awards

ABig Green,@ their three part Washing-

ton Post series centering on The
Ferry Crash Echoes Nature Conservancy=s land-deal
practices, has won reporters Joe
Early in April New York City began settling lawsuits filed by victims of Stephens and David B. Ottaway
the fatal October 15 Staten Island ferry crash. Some 191 people have filed the Scripps Howard Foundation=s
claims, said the New York Times. Other aftershocks, as reported by researcher top award for environmental report-
Hugh Ware in Messing About in Boats: ing in newspapers of more than
100,000 circulation. The series was
AThe reverberations from the crash echo louder and louder. The city also a finalist both for the 2004
operated ferry system is now revealed as riddled by patronage and privilege, Pulitzer Prize for investigative
plagued by abuse from workers, and suffering from wide ranging systemic reporting, and for the 2004 Gold-
problems including being understaffed plus a long record of ignoring Coast smith Prize for Investigative Report-
Guard safety recommendations. Five of the system=s mates were found to have ing awarded by the John F. Kennedy
drunken driving convictions on their records. Seven of the city=s top overtime School of Government at Harvard
earners worked on the ferries and they earned up to twice base pay. A 60-year- University.
old >whistle-blowing= crewman who tried to look at time cards was jumped and
pummeled by a fellow crewman, who was then promoted to be a safety supervi- This year’s Gulf of Maine Council
sor in charge of accident prevention. award recipients include: the US
Army Corps of Engineers’ Bill
AAs for the crash itself, it remains under investigation, both as an Hubbard (Coastal America’s
accident and criminally. The pilot who was in command of the Anthony J. wetlands restoration efforts); the
Barberi when it failed to slow, missed the Staten Island ferry landing, and raked Islinglass River Protection
across the end of a concrete pier about 600 feet away, killing 11 and seriously Project; Bruce Smith, Seascape
wounding dozens more. The master invoked his constitutional right to remain Kayak Tours, Inc. for “geo-tour-
silent while the federal prosecutor may charge the pilot under a maritime ism”; the Town of Newport for it’s
manslaughter charge that carries a possible 10-year sentence (vs. the 4-year Kennebec restoration work; the
term of the state=s negligent homicide charge).@ Atlantic Coastal Zone Informa-
tion Steering Committee; Danna
Truslow who runs the Seacoast
Marine Groups to Gather Land Trust; Mary F. Toomey, a
citizen activist of Higham, MA; Dr.
Kenneth Mann of the Bedford
The Blue Frontier Campaign=s Stuart Lansing Smits reports that his
Institute of Oceanography;
organization, and approximately 20 other marine conservation groups, will
Thomas S. Squiers, a dam remover
gather in Washington, DC for the ‘Blue Vision’ Conference from July 11-13.
in Maine’s Department of Natural
Principal task for the meeting will be to lobby Congress for a new Oceans Policy
Resources; and, New Brunswick’s
Act, adopting many of the recommendations of last year=s Pew Oceans Commis-
Big Salmon River Angling Asso-
sion report and the new US Oceans Commission report.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Educator of the Year is Montgomery
County science teacher Jay Foster
who “changed the culture of Forest Publications
Oaks” by involving his extended
community in the development of a a Few have had as rich and varied a career in environmental work as
trail network and outdoor class- James Gustave Speth. In his book Red Sky at Morning: America and the
rooms. The two Conservationists of Crisis of the Global Environment (Yale University Press 2004), he reflects on
the Year are Annapolis’ John Flood, his experience in the White House, the United Nations, and the nonprofit
a reef-building, oyster restoring World Resources Institute. He also looks forward, advocating many ways for
volunteer who helped found the people to Aadvance human welfare@ by addressing the grave environmental
South River Federation, and threats the planet faces. An important book.
Charles Stek, the principle author
behind the Chesapeake Restoration a New on the Web is Coral Reef Report, a magazine uniquely celebrating
Act of 2000, the Watershed Nutrient reefs via the writings and photos of well known people who have visited those
Removal Assistance Act, and the magic places. The publication, whose second issue is on the way, is the brain-
Chespeake Bay Gateways and child of blogger Donovan Watts. Also new from the Coral Reef Alliance
Watertrails Act. (CORAL) is the CORAL Discussion Board where anyone can Aseek technical
advice and share lessons learned with others in a global network of communica-
Species & Habitats tion.@,

Pelagic longline fishing fleets from a With noisy, bigger-than-life, harmless 17 year cicadas soon to arise from
40 nations set an astonishing 1.4 the soils of Maryland and the beyond (see Sayings, p. 2), the University of
billion hooks in 2000, estimates a Maryland is ready with a full suite of web information including even Acicada
research team at the Duke Univer- safari opportunities.@ Updates will be posted during the spring and summer.
sity Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC.
37% of this fishing effort occurred in
the Atlantic, resulting in the bycatch a The editors of E: The Environmental Magazine have assembled Feeling
of 150,000 to 200,000 loggerhead the Heat: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Climate Change (Routledge
turtles and 30,000 to 60,000 leather- 2004). Though the coverage is worldwide, two major essays in the book focus
back turtles. Thousands of these on Atlantic coastal threats. One such, by Jim Motavali with Sherry Barnes,
endangered turtles die as a result of outlines hazards to greater New York. Another, by Dick Russell, is entitled
their contact with the longline gear. AAntigua and Barbuda: Islands under Siege.@

Another factor affecting loggerheads

is global warming, report University
Local Paper Highlights Environment
of Central Florida biologists John
Back in the 1970s, when the environment first surfaced as an issue for
Weishampel, Llew Earhart and
many people, the Poughkeepsie Journal launched a special section on environ-
Dean Bagley. Along a 25 mile
mental news. After a brief run it disappeared. Last November, the weekly AOur
stretch of beaches in Brevard and
Environment@ section resurfaced under the guidance of editor and environmen-
Indian River counties where average
tal columnist Dan Shapley.
in-shore ocean temperatures have
been on the rise, the scientists
The handsome 2 to 6 page section, which appears in print on Sundays
report, loggerheads are now laying
as well as on the paper=s website, carries a wide variety of local, national, and
their eggs about 10 days earlier than
international environmental information. Sample recent headlines: AMussels
they did 15 years ago. Other studies
Mar River=s Balance,@ ANature Pays Price to Melt Ice,@ AEndangered Bat Finds
highlight the same trends for various
bird and flower species in the region.
Shapley coordinates and edits guest submissions to the page from mid-
Hudson Valley scientists and other outside authors. Locally raised and always
Over the six-month season just
interested in the environment, he joined the paper four years ago as a night
ended, Maryland oystermen har-
reporter and switched to the environment beat after about six months.
vested no more than 18,000 bushels,
says the state=s Department of
Shapley, managing editor Meg Downey and publisher Richard Wager
Natural Resources. The total, a
all helped plan the revival of the section, which Wager says corresponds to
drop from 53,000 bushels in 2002-3,
strong reader interest in environmental affairs. Surveys confirm this, adds
was a record low. So was the
Shapley. The paper is owned by Gannett Company of McLean, Virginia.
notably smaller number of licensed
oystermen, down to 70 from 437 last
AI hear a lot of good things about our coverage,@ says Shapley, adding
year. In 1999 there were some 2,500
that to his knowledge the section is Aunique for a paper of our size.@
of them plying Maryland’s waters.
In the James River 20 miles south of
Richmond, it was a 6 inch fishBa year-
old Atlantic sturgeon that if it
Courts & The Seashore survives could grow to more than 12
feet in length and weigh hundreds of
a Evidence that the US Supreme Court understands the concept of an poundsBthat prompted the most
ecosystem comes from three recent wetlands cases. In each, arguing that the excitement among middle school
Clean Water Act=s protections do not extend beyond navigable waters, plaintiffs students out on a field trip. A
argued that federal regulators had exceeded their authority by refusing to allow sturgeon that small was almost
development of lands far from any river or waterway and, as one lawyer put it, certainly spawned in the river, said
extending Ato the top of every mountain and the end of every street in the officials, adding substance to their
country.@ Two of the cases, one in Wicomico County, Maryland and the other in longstanding assumption that a
Newport News, Virginia involved land connected to the Bay by ditches and small remnant population of the
intermittent surface flows. Early in April the Court, to the delight of environmen- once plentiful species was still using
talists, upheld this broader view of the connections by rejecting all three ap- the river for spawning. AThe kids say
peals. they=re going to be famous,@ a group
leader told the Virginian Pilot, adding
a In another win for environmentalists, the Supreme Court ruled that that the netting was Athe hit of the
polluters require a Clean Water Act discharge permit to pump pollutants into US day.@
waters even if they did not originate the pollution but were only conveying it.
The South Florida Water Management District, which had long been pump- Restorations
ing polluted stormwater uphill from a collection canal into a natural wetland area
in the Everglades, contended that no permit was required. The Court ruled
For 15 years Georgia has banned the
otherwise and in favor of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians and a covey of
harvest of striped bass in the 210-
environmental groups filing amicus briefs.
mile Savannah River. Stocking and
the removal of a tide gate, which had
a For several years the US Navy, which usually works hard to protect its
drawn in saltier water than striped
costly airplanes from bird-strike damage, has sought to build a landing field
bass eggs need to thrive, were
adjacent to part of the Pocosin Lakes Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. The
further steps taken to revitalize
refuge, 5 miles from the proposed airfield, is a gathering point for hundreds of
natural spawning in the river. So
thousands of migratory birds, especially snow geese and tundra swans from the
state officials cheered when in March
Arctic. Some 30,000 practice landings and takeoffs a year would be carried out
a 9-inch striper pulled from the river
at the field. In reaction to objections raised by landowners and environmental
lacked telltale hatchery marks. It was
groups, reports the Raleigh News-Observer, federal judge Terence W. Boyle
the first to have been born naturally
recently blocked the construction pending further investigation of environmental
in the river since restoration efforts
consequences. Once the Navy moves forward, said the judge, Aany consider-
began almost a decade ago. Har-
ation of the environmental impact will be less objective.@
vesting may resume next year.

Sewage Issue Engulfs St. Croix Reports

In January, countering frequent complaints about cruise ships causing North Carolina has lost 1 million
pollution, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises cancelled the planned visit of one of acres of forest in the last 12 years,
its ships to Frederikstad, St. Croix on the grounds that poor water quality in the reports Environmental Defense,
harbor was a threat to its passengers. The cancellation, after a full year without largely due to urban sprawl. A
cruise-ship visits to the island, was a major local disappointment. AIt really hits continuing decline is projected for
people in the pocketbook,@ says Carol Cramer-Burke, interim executive director the next 4 decades. Tree harvesting
of the St. Croix Environmental Association. is up 30% since 1990. Ecological
decline has accompanied these
Burke too complains of untreated sewage in the harbor, right next to a trends, but all is not lost. With
public beach and near a large housing community, as a result of defective waste- appropriate state actions, the
treatment equipment. AThese are our resources,@ she says. AIt just kills me that organization says, North Carolina
the issue only comes up when a cruise ship is not able to call.@ Acan reverse these trends and protect
the economic productivity and
The good news, she adds, is that the Virgin Islands government has just ecological diversity inherent in our
signed a $123 million contract with Veolia Water North America to build two forests.@
modern waste treatment stations. One will be on St. Croix. Capable of pumping
4 million gallons a day, it will replace today=s open discharges. Said Joe Ortiz, Among the findings published by the
regional vice president for Veolia: AThis is some of the most pristine water in the League of Conservation Voters in
world. Our objective is to keep this water at its unspoiled level by treating the its 2003 National Environmental
waste stream using our proven technology and years of operating experience.@ Scorecard is telling information
The required bond issue barely made it through the territorial legislature. about the environmental voting
records of senators and congress-
men who became presidential
hopefuls. Joe Lieberman=s voting
record dropped from 88% pro- Jersey Shore Cleanup Results
environment in 2002’s 107th Congress
to 42% during the first session of the In preparation for its annual Spring Beach Sweep, Clean Ocean Action
108th Congress in 2003. John (COA) in New Jersey released the results of cleanup efforts undertaken in 2003
Edwards dropped from 68% to 37%, along the state=s shoreline. The organization found the shore AStill Awash in
John Kerry from 92% to 53%, and Harmful Litter,@ and circulated these totals of Adirty dozen@ kinds of litter collected
Dick Gephardt from 91% all the by 4,622 volunteers:
way down to 5%.
29,907 Cigarette Filters
Data collected between 1997 and 23,256 Plastic Caps & Lids
2000 persuade EPA that the overall 19,472 Plastic Pieces
condition of 41% of the estuarine 19,308 Plastic Food Bags
and Great Lakes resources of the US 17,080 Plastic Straws
is Afair,@ with 35% Aimpaired (poor 10,143 Plastic Beverage Bottles
condition)@ and 21% Aunimpaired 9,748 Foam Plastic Pieces
(good condition).@ In its second 6,199 Pieces of Lumber
National Coastal Condition Report, 6,097 Paper Pieces
the EPA gave the southeast coast 5,915 Metal Beverage Cans
(North Carolina southward to 5,520 Glass Beverage Bottles
Florida=s east coast) the highest 4,942 Plastic Forks, Knives, & Spoons
regional ranking: 3.8 out of a maxi-
mum 5. The northeast coast (Virginia While all debris collected from the beaches should be considered
to Maine) ranks lowest with only 1.8 unusual or unnatural, says COA, it also compiles a list of the most unusual items
points. found during the Sweeps each year.
The 2003 “Roster of the Ridiculous” includes 256 firecracker or fireworks
The Housatonic River in Connecticut pieces, 152 socks, 100 pieces of insulation, 69 batteries, 53 crayons, 3 car
and Massachusetts made it onto this mufflers, and a purple wig.
year=s 10 most endangered rivers
list, as compiled by American
Rivers. The designation stems from
a long-standing dispute between With Appreciation
EPA and General Electric about
PCB contamination from an old plant As we continue to improve our Atlantic coastal communications ser-
near Pittsfield and involving the vices, we greatly appreciate the assistance of those who have not only renewed,
remaining 147 miles to the river=s but in many instances increased, their support. Our very special thanks go to
end at Long Island Sound. Currently, the Madriver Foundation for renewing its support, and the following others for
while legal battles continue, dredg- their donations received between February 25 and April 20:
ing for the contaminants is taking
place along only 2 miles of the river. Huntington T. Block
Unless the EPA orders a full cleanup Isabella G. Breckinridge
extending all the way downstream, Nicholas Brown
argues American Rivers, Atoxic David Callard
legacy in the Housatonic will remain Mrs. Helen C. Evarts
a major health hazard for genera- Mrs. Charles B. Flood
tions to come.@ Florence B. Fowlkes
Lawrence S. Huntington
Products Wingate Lloyd
Anthony D. Knerr
With Segway experiments continu- Lucy Lowenthal
ing, the US Marine Corps has Peter and Maria Matthiessen
contracted the development of Louisa Foulke Newlin
powerful electric mountain bikes. Malcolm and Pamela Peabody
Developed by Wave Crest Labora- Roy Rowan
tories, the Title Force M-750 has a 15 Edith N. Schafer
mile range that can be extended by Susan Bailey and Sidney Buford Scott
operator assistance, pulling up to John A. H. Shober
600 pounds to 30 mph. The bikes Sarah T. Wardwell
collapse into a 3x3 foot box, and are George and Louisa Watson
intended to haul supplies and
stretchers where humvees and
helicopters can’t go. At about the
same cost as civilian versions of
Chesapeake Goals, Continued from p. 1 electric bikes, $2,500, don’t expect to
see too many M750 bikes parked
Funding: outside local supermarkets anytime
a Early in March, the Chesapeake Executive Council (representing
EPA, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia) appointed a Funding
high level 15-member panel to come up with recommendations by the end of
the year for financing bay restoration efforts up to 2010. Of the $19 billion Much Chesapeake Bay pollution
required, only $8 billion has so far been approved in government-funded sewage emanates from the 1.7 million acre
treatment and other projects. Much hand wringing is in progress about how to Delmarva Peninsula, an intensive
generate the remaining $11 billion said to be needed in those states. Innovative farming area spanning portions of
ways to cut costs, as well as new financing methods, are under consideration. Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia=s
eastern shore. To protect both the
A state by state review: farmland and the Bay, USDA=s
Natural Resources Conservation
a Virginia has outlined a preliminary $3.2 billion plan to combat pollution Service has earmarked $5 million for
in the Potomac, Rappahannock, York and James rivers and the state=s eastern Delmarva. Eliminating invasive plant
shore by limiting runoff and upgrading sewage treatment plants. Some ideas in and animal species, restoring
the draft report include encouraging local governments to implement pollution wetlands, and compensating farmers
tracking systems, outreach initiatives and government examples such as low for development rights to their land
impact design for state projects including roads. However, funding is not all form parts of the broad program.
addressed in the plan, and Virginia, which ranks last in the nation in spending on
environmental protection, failed to increase its environmental financing this year
after a long fight in the legislature over taxes. Critics point out that the only way In 2002 Maine drivers paying a $15
for Virginia to reach these goals is through costly federal mandates. Theresa premium for loon license plates
Pierno of the private, nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation noted that Ait’s funneled $446,432 into the state=s
the same old story—missing another deadline and making promises for future coffers. Donors assumed that the
improvements “ money was supporting wildlife
protection. In March, however, state
a West Virginia envisions reducing effluents into the upper reaches of leaders decided to divert $61,072
the Potomac by proper waste and storm water control in its most populous and from this revenue stream into the
growing counties and farming and logging operations elsewhere. But farmers deficit-ridden general fund. Some
feel that the assessments of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from chicken state legislators howled. So did
and livestock operations are too heavy. Deer and Canada geese, it is noted, also Jennifer Burns of Maine
contribute to water pollution. Funding is in doubt. Audubon. Not only had a public
trust been violated, she said; if the
a In Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell would create a “Growing money was not restored there would
Green II” program targeted at nearly $1.4 billion over four years, including a be a loss of matching federal
bond issue which will be on the November ballot. Measures such as sewage dollarsBand citizens would stop
treatment improvement, controlling farm runoff and acid in mine drainage, land buying the plates. After public
conservation, and loading caps on discharge permits will help reduce pollutants concern quickly spread, the state=s
carried to the Bay. Appropriations Committee hastily
scrubbed the diversion. John G.
a In the initiative that may have the most positive impact on the bay, Richardson, House majority leader,
Maryland legislators at the end of the session overcame earlier doubts and termed it Aan oversight.@
overwhelmingly passed Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.=s $1 billion Aflush tax@
bond issue. It is to be financed by a $2.50 monthly charge on sewer users and a Echoing previous gloomy statements
similar charge to septic tank owners. The money would go to upgrading 66 about the condition of US coastal
wastewater treatment plants to reduce nitrogen effluent to 3 parts per million, waters, the Bush-appointed, 16
near state of the art treatment, as well as for replacement of failed septic sys- member Federal Oceans Commis-
tems and to fund cover crop programs on farms. In addition, revision of the sion found them to be in Aserious
state’s nutrient management for agriculture was mandated. trouble@ with especially low marks
going to the northeast Atlantic
The Aflush tax@ bill Arises to greatness,@ said Ann Swanson, executive quadrant from Virginia to Maine.
director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, an advisory panel representing Among the commission=s recom-
the bay states, in a Baltimore Sun interview. It is the Abiggest stride@ she=s seen mendations: a trust fund that would
in a decade. Clearly, however, many such strides will be needed if real progress generate up to $4 billion a year from
is to be made toward the 2010 goals. They themselves, the Chesapeake Bay offshore drilling royalties, and a
Foundation’s William Baker and other observers point out, replaced targets for doubling of federal research expen-
2000 that were set in 1987 but not achieved thanks to political foot dragging. ditures to $1.3 billion a year.
Atlantic CoastWatch
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Patient Volunteers, Continued from p. 1 student researchers, clamdiggers, and local authorities
began to observe favorable trends on the mudflats.
would not approve a wooden structure - too high-mainte-
nance - and the wharf builder went out of business. A plan Remarkably, reported Martz, a Bowdoin staff
to build culverts instead of a bridge was fleshed out, then member, “This multi-year project had no paid staff or funds
discarded. Funding prospects came and went as the for overhead. Every penny received from grants and
budget grew and permitting complexities mounted. residents went into construction materials. All costs of
postage, telephone, photocopies, photos - and an occa-
By 2000, a fast-expanding volunteer group had sional lobster roll as inducement for someone to attend a
djinned up a full new plan and cost estimates for a precast planning meeting - were donated.” In appreciation for what
concrete 24-foot bridge. As a community based habitat it called the work of “one determined steward,” the Gulf of
restoration initiative, what had become known as the Maine Council recently gave Martz its top award for
Dingley Island Tidal Flow Restoration Project was eligible outstanding citizen volunteer service.
for federal funding. With the help of Coastal America, a
national partnership of federal, state, and local agencies Atlantic Flunks Ozone Test
and private organizations, the volunteers requested funds
from NOAA and other agencies to cover a budget that had
Among the 374 counties nationwide that exceed
grown to $210,000. In order to avoid a staggering extra
ground-level ozone limits recently set by EPA are half the
cost of $150,000 for the rental of cofferdams to provide
counties in heavily tourism-dependent Maine. Described by
vehicle access to the island during construction, a local
state environmental officials as the Atailpipe of America,@
marine builder, H.B. Fleming, recommended that the
Maine suffers from smog generated by heavy summer
bridge be built in halves so that one lane to the island
vacation traffic on the Maine Turnpike and Interstate 95Bas
would always be open. Local donors of cash and in-kind
well as that blown in by prevailing winds from southern
support joined NOAA and other federal agencies in funding
New England and the midwest.
the entire package.
All of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
In spring 2003, at last, an assortment of local, state
and Delaware also flunked the new EPA test, along with
and federal agencies and private companies ranging from
counties all across New York, most of the District of Colum-
Central Maine Power to the US Navy=s Seabees cooper-
bia region, half of Pennsylvania, much of North Carolina,
ated to undertake the actual construction. The work took 31
and 7 counties in South Carolina. Counties failing to meet
days to complete. Twenty-two organizations had been
the tougher new ozone standards by 2010, or in some
involved. Once finished, said Martz, the bridge Alooked like
instances earlier, risk sanctions that could involve losing
it had always been there. The open passage was discov-
federal transportation dollars. But some environmentalists
ered immediately by both kayakers and striped bass.@
suspect that EPA is bluffing. The 2004 rules that the agency
Soon after a September 30 dedication ceremony attended
calls Astrong medicine@ are really nothing but Asmoke and
by John Baldacci, Maine=s governor, Bowdoin College
mirrors,@ said one such person to the Bangor Daily News.