Letters to the Editor
We welcome your opinions and letters — with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to [email protected]. or submit your letters on line, click here
Bring Back our Creeks with a Watershed Restoration Fund
Dear Bay Weekly:
With each rainfall, millions of gallons of stormwater run from parking lots, streets, homes and commercial buildings, flooding roads and communities as they rush into creeks, rivers and Chesapeake Bay. These floods deliver up to 70 potential carcinogens, thousands of pounds of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus to the waterways, causing algal blooms and dead zones that threaten crabs and fish. Urban runoff, acre for acre, carries more pollutants than farmland.
Many Anne Arundel waterways are heavily silted, remain cloudy much of the year and barely support aquatic life.
Can we choose a way out? Restorations such as Grey’s Bog [Hands on the Environment, Vol. xiii, No. 19: May 12] are a way out. But there isn’t money in the Anne Arundel County budget to do more than a few each year.
To clear up our backlog of $80 million in urgent projects, I ask the county council to establish a Watershed Restoration Fund. The fund would be supported with an annual fee of $5 a month for what’s called an “impervious surface runoff unit” — 2,400 square feet, a home’s roof and driveway. Multiplied by the number of units in large parking lots and buildings, the fund would amass $20 million a year to restore the beauty and efficiency of the natural ecosystem.
When we dig and plant rain gardens and use rain barrels, porous pavers and swales to capture and reuse the precious rain, we’ll qualify for up to a 50 percent credit. Using earth’s patterns in these ways, we also clean pollutants and feed aquifers from which we drink.
It would be a dedicated fund off-limits for any other purpose. The Department of Public Works would recommend priority projects to the council each year. A public hearing and vote would designate yearly projects in each council district. A year-end report would detail projects completed.
Please call your councilman or woman to say you support this solution. Ask your friends for their support as well.
Our property values, the rivers and creeks in our communities, our health and the Chesapeake Bay all depend on our will to restore what is valuable to us.
—Anne Pearson, Edgewater: Director, Alliance for Sustainable Communities; www.beinginplace.org
200 Singers and Musicians Can’t Be Wrong
Dear Bay Weekly:
I’ve said this before but, as our season concludes, I wanted to thank Bay Weekly again for being so supportive of the Annapolis Chorale and our many activities (our own concerts, the Annapolis Youth Chorus concerts, the St. Anne’s Series concerts) and especially the feature stories Carrie Steele and Louise Vest wrote about the Chorale.
It’s absolutely true that we couldn’t do what we do without help from our friends in the print media. Without your work, we couldn’t attract new audiences or interest businesses and individuals in supporting our work. So, on behalf of the whole Annapolis Chorale — and that’s more than 200 active singers and musicians — thank you!
—Katherine Hilton, Edgewater: Director of marketing and Development, the Annapolis Chorale