Friday, November 7, 2008

What Needs To Be Done To Restore The Bay?

Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT), the Assateague COASTKEEPER, Salisbury University Department of Sociology and SU Department of Environmental Studies will present a special lecture by clean water advocate Gerald W. Winegrad, former Maryland State Senator and Professor at the University of Maryland, on Thursday, November 20th, at 10:00 Salisbury University, Guerrieri Center- Nanticoke A Room.

His lecture is titled: What Needs To Be Done To Restore The Bay? The Inconvenient Truths of Bay Restoration.

Gerald W. Winegrad will make a presentation and lead a discussion on the decline of the Chesapeake Bay and what needs to be done to restore this great estuary. He will outline why the Bay is in serious trouble after 25 years of recovery efforts.

Collapsed fisheries, including oysters and shad, and the crab fishery's recent decline are among many signs of the serious ecological collapse as proud Smith Islanders become prison guards, leaving their island homes forever.

The renowned Bay scholar and leader will discuss how we have so poisoned our waters that reports abound of serious infections in humans who come in contact with Bay waters. These reports are widespread-from the Severn to the Nanticoke rivers, and beyond.

Rockfish, one of the few success stories in the recovery of living resources, have been turning up with lesions from a chronic wasting disease, which is transmittable to humans. Catfish in the South River have cancerous lesions and male bass from the Potomac are turning up with female egg sacs.

Bay grasses are at only one-third of the acreage agreed upon by the states and oyster populations show no signs of recovery.

When EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program began with the adoption of the first Bay Agreement in 1983, Gerald Winegrad notes, if anyone had chosen to frighten the public into action with a doomsday scenario, it would have probably read as he describes above and yet this scenario has become reality.

Just how much worse does this horrible situation have to become before policy makers take the bold but necessary actions to reverse the decline of the Bay? Half-measures and "save the Bay" palliatives won't do--come learn of the bold, decisive actions that can be taken now to turn the tide.

Senator Winegrad will detail these necessary actions and make the case for controlling human population growth, sprawl development and the loss of forest land. The necessity of regulatory controls for agricultural pollution--the Bay's greatest source of nutrient and sediment pollution--also will be a focus of his talk.

Senator Winegrad will then describe the increasing problems of storm-water runoff from development and how this can be addressed to restore the Bay. He will also present startling data on the impacts of growth and agricultural pollution on the Bay's decline. Come see this up-to-date presentation and learn how we can Save the Bay and our natural heritage.

Senator Gerald W. Winegrad is a former State Senator from Annapolis and for 16 years was the leading environmentalist in the Legislature. He was responsible for many Bay initiatives including the phosphate detergent ban. He Chaired the Senate Environment and Chesapeake Bay Subcommittee and served on the Chesapeake Bay Commission for 12 years.

Gerald Winegrad was called the “environmental conscience” of the Senate by the Washington Post and Tom Horton wrote that “he is the person who more than any other set Maryland’s environmental agenda over the past 16 years”.

In 2002 he was presented the prestigious Life Time Achievement Award by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. He is a Professor at the graduate School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, where he teaches courses on Bay Restoration and Wildlife Management.

The Assateague COASTKEEPER will have a lobby display for the Chesapeake Waterkeepers’ GET THE DIRT OUT program, a citizen based effort to monitor construction sites and stop sediment pollution to the Coastal Bays and the Chesapeake Bay.

Representatives of the WATERKEEPER Alliance’s “PURE FARMS/PURE WATERS” campaign will be on hand to distribute materials.

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