Sunday, April 19, 2009

Deja Vu?

"Just give the Chesapeake Bay back her 1970 water quality, and we will have plenty of crabs, and plenty of oysters, and plenty of rockfish, and we will have a good style of life again, you know. If we could get our regulators to work that out ... to improve our water quality --- the Chesapeake Bay could heal herself. But she's, she's dying daily." Don Pierce, Chesapeake Bay waterman (fisherman)

Don Pierce has been working the waters of Chesapeake Bay for 48 years. But Friday, on Earth Day, he was not feeling positive.

Too much phosphorus, too much fertilizer, too much sewage and agricultural runoff.

Pierce has observed the algae blooms in the 190 mile area of Chesapeake Bay that he works each summer and fall.

He told CNN reporter John King that there used to be 60 to 70 boats in his little town and in the 60's, the bay was teeming with clams, oysters, and striped bass. Now there are fewer than 20 boats. "My grandsons will not be watermen" said Pierce,

When asked who is trying to clean up the watershed, "We the people that live in the Chesapeake watershed mainly. We the people," he says."

Reminds me of Whatcom County. In the 60's Blaine had a fleet of fishing boats in the Harbor and fish were plentiful. Today, there are just a handful of boats left in the entire county and the shellfish have vanished from many beaches.

The State of Washington is blessed with abundant natural resources. Puget Sound and its bays are capable of generating billions of dollars in revenue for the state if we would just take care of it.

Everyone lives in a watershed. Its up to each of us as individuals to change the way we relate to the bay and the lakes, streams and rivers that support the Sound.

What did I do this weekend to celebrate Earth Day?

I filled one of those large black construction bags with garbage and refuse from the ditches in front of my house.

I will pay to have Sanitary Service haul it away.

John King, CNN Article:

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