Last Friday, the U.S. EPA scored a big victory against industry opponents who challenged the Agency’s authority and efforts to establish a cleanup strategy for the Chesapeake Bay. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled in favor of EPA upholding the total maximum daily load (TMDL) scheme for the Bay restoration efforts. Bay TMDL Order I have former clients and friends on both sides of this notable litigation, so win, lose or draw, there would have been no victory lap for me. Continue reading
We have a lot of chickens in Maryland. And, in fact, we humans are outnumbered 1,000 to 1 along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Lots of chickens also means lots of chicken poop – something you probably don’t care to think about as you’re nibbling on that chicken wing. And fact, most of the chicken manure (a/k/a chicken litter as it’s called locally) is land-applied, which is also what’s affecting the quality of water in the Chesapeake Bay. More manure equals more algae, equals less oxygen for fish, crabs and other aquatic critters. But, as a vital nutrient resource that keeps on giving, it can also be transformed into a renewable energy source as discussed below. Continue reading
Inspired earlier this month by the conservation work of Chris Bayley out in Oregon, and his 12,000 rain garden campaign to improve water quality in Puget Sound, as discussed here, I finally committed to trying my hand at constructing a rain garden as my small contribution toward helping improve water quality to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. After a few sore muscles and a couple of Advil, and seven hours of labor, and for a grand total of $255.09 (including band-aids for a couple of pesky blisters), I’m pleased to report back on the project. The proof of success was in the final reveal and my wife’s comment, “wow – I really like it” – turned out even better than I expected. Hope others will be similar inspired for this year’s Earth Day, April 22.
Promising news flowing from the Chesapeake Bay. U.S. EPA is reporting that pollutants, such as phosphorous, nitrogen, and sediment, entering the Bay have fallen significantly since 2009. And the Bay is showing resilience as its inhabitants, such as blue crabs, oysters, and rockfish are beginning to show signs of thriving once again. While much credit goes to the U.S. EPA, USDA, and the Bay States for continuing to work tirelessly to fix a very complicated environmental and sociological problem, we can thank many organizations, landowners, farmers, businesses, and local communities for their individual actions which collectively have resulted in a positive good. Continue reading