The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum 2011

 

Points of View & Thoughtful Discussion - Other

 

'Other' POV & TD Navigation

I Love APES    Oyster shucker    busy bee business    A Van & 6 Kids   

psychodelic seagulls    Sand Dollars    Leopluradon    aqua   

Botanists for a greener world!    

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Bay Ecosystem  ▪  Chesapeake Bay Program   •   Developer  •  Farmers  

Homeowner  •  Local Governments  ▪  Others   •  Recreation/Tourism  •  Watermen

Comments for All Others

Response        MMM Cheese Homeowners - homeowner - NHHS

                                                                                                                        4/1/2011

              Dear everybody,   I have seen the errors of my ways. I have done some

              research and, I still believe that the bay doesn’t impact me. On the upper side, I

              will change my ways. “Nitrogen pollution is the most serious pollution problem for

              the Bay because it causes algae blooms that consume oxygen. The blooms lower

              dissolved oxygen levels so severely that fish and shellfish die.” I found that on

              the Chesapeake Bay Foundation website. I do not want to be the one responsible

              for killing all of the estuary animals. I will help all of you clean up the bay. I will

              start recycling, and buying reusable bags, and I will get a more environmentally

              helpful car to drive. i won’t even fertilize my lawn.  I hope that you all will accept

              my apology and forgive me. Sincerely, MMM Cheese Homeowners.

 

 

Others

 

I Love APES                                                                                              Gonzaga College HS

Roadways and Infrastructure                                                                                   3/18/2011

 

Roads are an integral part of our society's infrastructure; impermeable roads, however,  are the leading cause of water contamination. Constant usage, coupled with the area's climate conditions, of roads results in the constant need for roadway maintenance. Consequently, a significant amount of pollutants, such as heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and debris from road construction, leak into nearby waterways. Since it is impractical to eliminate roadways near bodies of water, we must find some way to improve roadway repair.

 

There are a variety of ways in which we can improve road maintenance. One simple yet very effective way to do so is by implementing more controlled paving techniques when repairing a pothole or worn pavement; this would include the covering of storm drains/ manholes during paving operations. As a result, it would become harder for harmful material to make it into the water. Also, resurfacing operations could use more absorbent asphalt for road repair; consequently, more water will be taken in by the street, and the level of stormwater runoffs would greatly decrease. In addition, cleaning practices, such as sweeping and vacuuming popular roads, would help remove unwanted sediment and debris, reducing the amount of pollutants in runoff. Another large pollutant comes from roadside vegetation. A restriction should be enacted on the use of pesticides and herbicides. In addition, roadside vegetation should have higher salt tolerances, as this would help filter runoff.

 

The only inconvenience increased maintenance would impose would be the closing of a lane once in a while, which is nothing commuters aren't already used to. Since regular upkeep of roadways is already required in all communities, funding and employees already exist. The only additional cost of pollutant reducing management would be funding for equipment and training, which is a very small price to pay for clean water.

 

 

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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask

                                                                                                                        4/18/2011

       This is a very typical point of view for engineers and those working on roads and

       infrastructures.  Good job getting into character. 

      

       You mention that impermeable roads and impermeable surfaces are a leading cause of

       water contamination.  However, roads, even in good repair that have just been

       resurfaced are still considered an impervious surface in the context of the Chesapeake

        Bay watershed.  Any asphalt road will be much less previous when compared to an

       area with trees, plants, or pervious papers. 

      

       Well maintained traditional roads will still cause significant damage to the bay as they

       cause water to speed up and warm up across its surface. 

      

       Can you think of any ways to lower the amount of impervious surfaces or the amount

       of pollution being released from roadways and highway areas?

 

 

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Others

Oyster shucker                                                                                           North Harford HS

Environmentalist                                                                                                       3/18/2011

 

As an environmentalist I have a lot of concerns for environmental conservation and  improvement of the state of the environment. No matter how concerned I am nothing can be done in the country's economic state. As a stakeholder I am someone who is affected by the conditions of the bay.  It is important for me to give my opinion on the problems with the bay. My job is to find ways to make the environment better. Due to pollution, my job is to find ways to fix it. Most of the pollution in the bay is a result of a large amount of nitrogen. The reason for so much nitrogen in the bay is from sewage plants and industrial plants such as power plants. So to fix the pollution problem, we could upgrade the sewage treatment plants, proper operation of septic systems, use nitrogen removal technology, and decreasing fertilizer applications to lawns. Another cause of pollution in the bay is runoff. Ways to help reduce runoff is implement a nutrient management plan, control the pollution of manure, plant cover crops, install and maintain buffer strips along farm fields, plant a riparian buffer zone. The bay is also having a problem with the loss of its natural filters such as forests, oysters, wetlands, and underwater grasses. Maryland alone has lost more than 75% of its wetlands. Overall the bay has lost 98% of its oysters, and nearly 50% of its forest buffers (Chesapeake Bay Foundation). The Chesapeake Bay restoration fund has funded over 50 million dollars a year to help clean up the bay, but this year they don't think it is going to be funded. The only people we can blame for the problems in the bay are ourselves. Many people complain and say that we aren't doing enough to make it cleaner and healthier.   What are we supposed to do with no money?  Yes it's costly but it will cost us even more to let the bay the way it is. The bay brings in a lot of money due to fishery and tourism, but the fisherman cant fish for dead fish and tourists don't want to come and visit a gross and polluted bay. Yes we would  be spending money but in the long run we will be making more money then we spent.

 

 

 

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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask

                                                                                                                        4/18/2011

       Like many environmentalists that this pov represents, you have fallen into the mindset

       that the problem is hopeless and it is so big there is nothing that we can do to stop it. 

       Unfortunately this defeatist attitude is a self fulfilling prophecy that prevents

       enthusiastic movers and shakers from joining the cause.  It is true that much of the

       funding for cleaning the Bay was lost in the new federal budget, and that if nothing is

       done, billions of dollars in the economy of the communities surrounding the watershed

       could be lost.  However, hope is not lost, and much can still be done to save the Bay.

      

       Can you think of any ways to raise money for the bay?  Are there any low cost

       solutions?

      

       What ideas do you have to change the government's and people’s mind to fund the bay

        programs that you are proposing?

 

 

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Others

busy bee business                                                                                       North Harford HS

small business owner                                                                                                 3/18/2011

 

Small business owners are important because they organize groups that help clean up the  Bay.  Businesses want a healthy Bay because a healthy bay can mean a healthy economy. Problems with the Bay affect the stakeholders because they invest money from their own pockets, and if other organizations overtake them then they will lose their money. Some of these problems to the Bay are overfishing and pollution. This could cause for the Bay to be destroyed or not as eco friendly as it, it meant to be. Some solutions for this could be to have a limit on the amount of fish, oysters, crabs, and other sea animals that people consume. This will help stakeholders to not lose as much money and or gain more money. The negative affect to these solutions are that it is costly. It will take several millions of dollars to fully clean up the Bay. The positive view would be that it would help clean up the Bay and stop pollution. It will help all the Bay animals to be healthier, and produce a healthier ecosystem. Please help us clean up the bay in order to keep our bay clean and help it to continue growing so our economy will grow too!

 

 

 

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    From:   CAKE - CB_Ecosystem - EHHS                                                                Ask

                                                                                                                        3/31/2011

       I like your ideas, but I was wondering how do you plan on paying for the bay to be

       cleaned up?

    From:   Luray Farmers - farmer - LHS                                                                Ask

                                                                                                                        3/31/2011

       Maybe you shouldn't blame everyone for the Bay being dirty and causing the economy

       being bad. Just maybe, you should blame the goverment for the way the economy is

       due to the U.S.A spending to much money on things we don't even need to spend.

       Goverment get's paid and is living the good life with money and fame yet we are sitting

        on sidelines. Have you thought about that?

    From:   Shaky Shrimp - Waterman - EHHS                                                         Ask

                                                                                                                        4/11/2011

       How are you proposing that we clean up the Bay? By continuing the process they are

       using now, or do you have a new solution?

 

 

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Others

A Van & 6 Kids                                                                                                         Luray HS

Bay Dwellers                                                                                                            3/25/2011

        Our life is very close to the bay; actually we live directly beside the bay, in a small ty-

dye VW van. We see the pollution in our front yard every day. In fact, it's starting to

become ridiculous. We bathe in that water, along with our children, and just yesterday, we

began to see a sixth finger growing in the palms of our hands. Our family uses the bay

water to drink and to supplement our gardens.  We might not have much money, but we

would be glad to volunteer our time to an organization willing to clean the bay. We have

several ideas that could possibly make a good impact on the bay

 

  We don't think that farmers are the reason to blame for this like most people think. 

Truthfully, the suburban and urban areas are the ones behind it.  Homeowners put down

tons of fertilizers just to make their grass a little greener.  Factories dump thousands of

gallons everyday into the watershed.  But farmers are to blame? They are the only ones

educated enough to use fertilizers economically.

 

                        In order to lessen the effects of chemical runoff into the bay, farmers should plant buffer zones and home owners build rain gardens.  These small projects could make a

difference.  Governmentally, things need to change.   Funding should be provided for

educational seminars.  This could teach people the correct use of fertilizer and pesticide

applications.

 

     A clean bay would increase hygiene.  We could get our daughters' third legs amputated

without the fear of it growing back.  Marine populations would increase and prices would go

 down, also boosting the economy.  That is just the humble opinion of the man, in a van,

down by the bay.

 

 

 

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    From:   Queen B's - farmer - LHS                                                                       Ask

                                                                                                                        3/28/2011

       Um. Why are you drinking out of the bay?

    From:   One Shot One Kill - farmer - LHS                                                          Ask

                                                                                                                        3/28/2011

       We are having some trouble understanding your point of view. Could you specify what

       you mean by "third leg"? We do agree that the farmers are not to blame.

    From:   Oyster shucker - Other - NHHS                                                             Ask

                                                                                                                        3/28/2011

       I totally agree with what you are saying. The suburban and urban areas are mostly to

       blame for this, but I do beleive that farmers have alot to do with the pollution problem

        in the bay as well. There are so many preventions to protect the bay that farmers

       need to take even if they arent the direct source.

        Response        A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS

                             To:  Everyone

                                                                                                                        3/29/2011

              We drink from the bay because we live in a van.  Do you seriously think a van has

              indoor plumbing?

             

              A third leg, by definition, is a leg-resembling appendage originating from

              somewhere close to the hip.

             

              Thanks, we believe that everyone could contribute to lessening the effects of

              runoff pollution in the bay.  Though the majority comes from urban area, both

              parties can participate.  Urban populations could limit the application of fertilizers

               and farmers could practice more BMP's.

 

    From:   Hick Chick - farmer - NHHS                                                                  Ask

                                                                                                                        3/30/2011

       You're right! Farmers are not to blame! The government needs to step in and pay back

        farmers for their costs of BMPs.  What about homeowners? Should they be regulated

        in their use of fertilizers?

THE MODERATOR asks "VAN & 6 KIDS" and "HICK CHICK":  Please provide some actual data with references to support your assertions that farmers do not contribute as much to the Bay's problems as the Chesapeake Bay Program estimates.   It is not enough to just make an assertion - prove it.   

    From:   CAKE - CB_Ecosystem - EHHS                                                                Ask

                                                                                                                        3/31/2011

       So, you're drinking polluted bay water? You do realize you're drinking water from an

       estuary. Which is salt water.

        Response        A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS

                             To:  Everyone

                                                                                                                        3/31/2011

              We would like to apologize for our earlier statement about drinking the bay

              water.  We distill our water to remove the salt, as this is more cost effective

              than buying it from wal-mart.

              http://www.epa.gov/neplessons/documents/NEPPrimer.pdfThis pdf file explains

              more about diagnosing problems in estuaries.  Local studies of water quality by

              the Luray Science Club(WaterDawgs)since the fall of 2007 have tested water at

              various points along Hawksbill Creek.  These points, above and below the Town of

              Luray, have provided very useful information.  Measurements from a number test

               sites 15 miles upstream of town, throughout strictly farmland, show little change

               in the water quality. Hawksbill Creek then passes immediately through town and

              on the other side, the results were much different.  The testing showed spikes in

              many nutrients.  Nitrogen, phosphourous, and nitrates were/are currently found

              at unhealthy levels.  Certain hormones have also been found that were not

              removed by the waste water treatment plant. Data recorded also shows a

              temperature spike on the far side of town year round.Recently, another source

              of pollution has come to our attention.  Does anyone know about the rate ocean

              going ships are dumping waste into the bay?  Many of them are international and

              may be oblivious to national and state laws.  Nobody has yet mentioned this on the

               forum.  It could be a serious problem that needs to be investigated

    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask

                                                                                                                        4/1/2011

       Congratulations on your WaterDawgs' studies of water quality in Hawksbill Creek.  We

        are aware of your work and encouraged that you have become so engaged in these

       issues.  I am not surprised that you found higher nutrient levels below the sewage

       treatment plant, because the sewage treatment plant is a point source of pollution and

       will be releasing pollutants pretty much all the time.  As an expert on water quality, I

       would suggest that you spend some time looking at the Water Quality Primer that

       discusses point and non point pollution, and concentration versus load; understanding

       Bay issues requires that you have a pretty good understanding of these key points. 

       The link is in the eForum's main page "Essential Background" section, or here:

       http://www.cacaponinstitute.org/understanding_pollution.htm.  You might also look at

       the essay from Native Guide Neil Gillies (that's me) to get a stronger understanding of

        these issues, and the water quality patterns typical of this region.

 

        Response        A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS

                             To:  MODERATOR - other - PHWS

                                                                                                                        4/1/2011

              THE MODERATOR:  We really want to help save the bay, but also want to have

              fun while doing so.  We believe some of our sketchy comments will help intrest

              others into reading what we really have to say.

    From:   The Gilligans - Waterman - EHHS                                                          Ask

                                                                                                                        4/11/2011

       You Can Catch small limits of fish

 

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psychodelic seagulls                                                                                     Rappahannock HS

Forester                                                                                                                  3/25/2011

Trees and Forestry

 

  How can the health of a forest be connected to the health of a Bay? Forest in the

Chesapeake Bay watershed have been recognized as the most beneficial use of the

landscape in terms of water quality and an important contributor to protection of the

Bay's health and resilience. The problem is deforestation, which means the lost of the

forest. The solution is to limit deforestation and to manage trees. Our three main topics

are: "Why forests are beneficial?", "Problems with the Bay due to lack of forest or

deforestation", and "Solution: BMP of forest lands".

 

  Forest is beneficial to the Bay for improving and maintaining clean water. Forests act as

giant sponges that absorb and slowly release pollutions such as nutrients and sediments

from storm water runoff and also remove nitrogen from the air. Clean and slowly release

about 2/3 of the water that maintains stream flow and replenishes ground water.

 

  Some problems with the Bay due to lack of forest or deforestation are that sediments

wash from construction sites into local waterways and Bay from removal of trees grassy

areas, create ideal conditions for muddy storm water runoff. State law requires builders

to use host of techniques that catch water and sediment or site. Thick gravel at the site

entrance traps water flow and helps it sink into the ground and catches dirt attached to

tires of construction vehicles. Inspectors can be overwhelmed by the number of sites they

supervise. In Maryland, active construction sites should be inspected one every two weeks.

 

 

  Forest Best Management Practices are considered by the Nutrient Subcommittee and in

the Tributary Strategies of the Chesapeake Bay Program as actions which focus on

reducing nutrient and sediment runoff from the Forests and open lands of the Chesapeake

Bay watershed. This can be accomplished through 1) the use of BMP's before, during, and

after timber harvest and other silvicultural operations, 2) the retention/conservation of

existing forest lands, 3) afforestation of non-forest lands, and 4) the establishment of

forested riparian buffers along the Bay's shorelines and tributary rivers or streams.

 

Forests occupy almost 60% of the land base in the watershed. As a result of their total

volume, the cumulative nutrient loading attributed to forest lands is sizable, even through

acre for acre the rate of nutrient export from these lands is very low. In the Bay

watershed model, this nutrient load is considered to be a "background" or "uncontrollable"

load, one that is due to sources such as air deposition and geologic weathering rather than

one directly "controlled" by land use. The nutrient retention/reduction value of these

forests is undispute4d. Forests retain an average of 70% of all nutrients deposited on

them from the air.

 

How can the health of a forest be connected to the health of a Bay? The Bay helps life go

round and round whether you believe it or not. So next time you want to cut down a tree,

think about it first.

 

 

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    From:   Oyster shucker - Other - NHHS                                                             Ask

                                                                                                                        4/1/2011

       I agree a healthy forest has alot to do with the health of the bay! In my opinion the

       forest along the bay that holds the banks together and prevents erosion along the bay

       is most important. Also,the it helps capturesediment from filling up in the bay.

 

 

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Others

Sand Dollars                                                                                                 Rappahannock HS

Manurfactoring                                                                                                       3/25/2011

  Chemical Containments, excessive nutrients, sediments, and air pollution are the most

common causes of deaths in animals and humans in the Chesapeake Bay. What are Chemical

Containments, excessive nutrients, sediment, and air pollution? Chemical Containments are

chemicals or compounds that can potentially harm humans, wildlife and aquatic life. 

Excessive Nutrients is when too many nutrients make their way into local rivers, streams,

and the Bay. Sediments are made up of loose particles of clay, silts and sand. Air pollution

is caused by factories and industries let out toxic chemicals into the Bay. Toxic Chemicals

are constantly entering the Chesapeake Bay by agriculture, storm water or storm drains

and air pollution. 

Chemical Containments come from runoff from farmland, storm water, treatment plants,

factories, power plant and other emitting sources. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)   Organophosphate pesticides (OPs)

Organochlorine pesticides. The most common chemical is mercury. Mercury doesn't break

down easy, so instead they bind to sediments and persist in the environment. When small-

dwelling aquatic organisms take up contaminates while feeding or through skin contacts.

Larger fish eat those smaller ones that are contaminated. Then birds and other wildlife eat

 the contaminated fish.

  Nutrients are chemicals that plants and animals need to grow and survive. The two main

amounts of nutrients that get abused are nitrogen and phosphorus. Excessive Nutrients

fuels the growth of dense algae blooms. Bay grasses need the sunlight that the algae

blocks. The Bay provides food for waterfowl and shelter for blue crabs. Algae takes up all

the oxygen which crabs, oysters and other bottom dwelling species need to survive.   

  Air Pollution from vehicles, industries, gas-powered lawn tools and other emitting sources

contribute nearly one-third of the total nitrogen load to the Chesapeake's waterways.

Airborne nitrogen is contributed neither to the Bay region from and enormous 570,000-

square-mile air shed that stretches north to Canada, west to Ohio and south to South

Carolina.

  In conclusion, chemicals contaminants, air pollution and excessive nutrients have always

been a problem in the Bay.  Eventually these problems should be fixed, but in the meantime,

 try to not pollute and pick up the trash you see. Keep our Earth clean, starting with the

bay.

 

 

 

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Leopluradon                                                                                                           Horizons 4H

marine life                                                                                                               3/25/2011

     My name is Leopluradon. I am a fish. The other day my girlfriend died. She was caught

in a dead zone and suffocated. I used to be a handsome fish, sleek, shiny, very agile and

healthy. Now I am a mere shadow of my former self. I mean literally.  I am about the size

of the shadows I once cast in the shallows, if not smaller. Every day more fish and other

bay inhabitants disappear, either from starvation, over fishing, or the dead zones created

by over-nutrification of the water. If I could speak human I would tell you that you must

make regulations to protect the bay from the harmful side effects of everyday human

living. The fertilizer you put on your lawns washes into the bay. Oil from your car leaks

onto impervious surfaces such as roads and parking lots and runs into the bay as well. 

Trash left carelessly lying around blows into streams and is carried to the bay. Poorly

treated sewage from sewage treatment plants dumps directly into the bay, and when

vegetation such as trees and meadows are destroyed the soil they were holding washes into

 the streams and bay and decreases the water quality. Fertilizer and poorly treated

sewage pump too much nitrogen into the bay. They cause aquatic plants to bloom wildly and

use up all the dissolved oxygen in the water. That blocks the sunlight from reaching the

bottom.  This creates dead zones -  areas where all the animals have died from suffocation

 or starvation. Trash that blows into streams is carried to the bay where animals often

mistake it for food, get tangled up, and suffocate, choke or drown. Oil is toxic for all

marine life and can destroy an ecosystem down to the tiniest primary producers. Soil

washing into the water results in sedimentation, which decreases the health and diversity of

 the ecosystem, and makes the water murkier, which reduces the amount of sunlight in the

water column and decreases the amount of oxygen production. Another problem is that

most of the wetlands that trap the toxins and absorb them before they ever reach the

bay, have been destroyed and thusly are no longer protecting the bay.

      Some simple solutions would be planting Riparian buffers around streams, rebuilding

and protecting wetlands, setting higher regulation standards for sewage treatment plants,

reducing the amount of fertilizer you use on your lawns, encouraging the use of public

transportation, and making public trash pickup days all through the watershed. All of these

things can be easily implemented if the humans have the desire to do so. Please help the

bay. We marine animals are powerless to stop the destruction of the bay, but you can do

something about it! We are counting on you. Don’t let us down!

 

 

 

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    From:   A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS                                                               Ask

                                                                                                                        3/28/2011

       We were unaware that along with the toxins in the bay causing us to grow extra

       appendages, fish are now growing hands and having the ability to type.  How did you

       get a computer to work underwater?  But in all seriousness, we agree with your

       opinions on saving the bay.  It’s the peoples job to fix what we created.

 

 

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aqua                                                                                                                   Musselman HS

wetland resteration team                                                                                           4/5/2011

Aqua

Question - Does voluntary work?

 

Answer - YES! In Musselman high school, the wet team has stopped drainage in the

wetlands by adding native plants and trees. For approval of the wetlands, the team has a

plan to add shrubs.

An example, a student wet club member supported the wet team by performing many

tasks. One member from our team had spent some time with the Cacapon organizing the

wet land plan. He brought the team many items such as rebar, marking flags, orange

marking paint and tree fencing. The students' father provided excavation, used to dig holes

 for the native trees and hauling services for crushed rock providing a loader for cutting

the path.

 

 

 

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Botanists for a greener world!                                                                          Musselman HS

Scientist                                                                                                                    4/6/2011

As botanists we understand the effects of the run off on the plants around the Bay. We

have noticed some effects on our local plants. By looking at the Bays underwater bay grass

 we can see how healthy the bay is and whether or not it is in major danger or not. The Bay

 grass is used to help keep the bay clean. The Grass adds oxygen to the bay and help

anchoring down sediments from clouding the water of the bay and burying bottom dwellers.

 They also soften the impact on waves on the erosion of the shore line. The grasses absorb

nutrients that are poured into the water that could harm the other plants and animals.

Lately though, the use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals (Included in House hold

chemicals[like pharmaceuticals, bleach, cleaners etc.] , Herbicides, Fertilizers)  have gotten

 into the bay causing same sex fish and other harms to the bay ecosystem. These toxic

chemicals are also harming the bay grass. Without the Grasses of the bay we would lose

many types of bottom dwellers and have a large issue with erosion of the bays shores.

The ways we are finding to help solve these problems are by planting buffers of grass and

trees around the bay and in the Chesapeake watershed area. By using these buffers to

absorb the chemicals in the run off we can help save the Bay grasses from having to

absorb all the toxins from the pesticides.

 

 

 

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    From:   Sydney's House - homeowner - MslmnHS                                                Ask

                                                                                                                        4/8/2011

       I agree. If the water is polluted, the plants can not grow.

 

 

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