Sunday February 1, 2015; 02:42 pm EST
This Week’s Creature Feature Taking Wing Against Pollution
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a person in a chicken suit
Chesapeake Bay is full of crap — literally. An EPA study found that 17 percent of nitrogen pollution and 26 percent of pollution in the Bay comes from animal manure.
Environment Maryland wants you to hold the biggest polluters responsible — even if motivating you takes dressing up like a chicken to do it.
To educate you about the damage your chicken dinner can cause, the people at Environment Maryland meet you at the point of contact: grocery stores.
“We wanted to make sure that consumers understand where a lot of this pollution is coming from,” says Environment Maryland policy advocate Tommy Landers. “We want people to understand that Perdue owns the chickens — but not the manure. Manure and dead chickens are entirely the responsibility of the farmers to pay to clean up. Eventually tax payers and farmers have to front the bill that Perdue should have to help pay.”
Environment Maryland wants its chickens to create a consumer movement.
“It’s part of a larger campaign to make sure that Maryland writes a plan to successfully clean up the Bay,” says Landers. “We think that holding polluters accountable will be part of the plan.”
Now, back to the chicken suit.
“We certainly don’t force anybody to go into the chicken suit,” says Landers. “We get looks and people stop and wonder what’s going on, which is the point.”
“We take turns every week,” says field organizer Beth Levin of donning the yellow feathered outfit. “It’s kinda fun, but it’s pretty hot.”