Letter: We have to clean up our own mess
I read with interest your editorial regarding the pollution of our local waterways ("Too Much," July 17 issue). It sounds overwhelming, in that too many of our local waterways (4,522 acres) have too much pollution, making oysters and clams unsafe to eat.
These condemnations have been chronic for years. The state Department of Environmental Quality has written Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the clean-up of our creeks. We need to let our local officials know how important it is to us that they provide the resources and cooperation with the state to get it done. The state has done testing to identify the specific sources of pollution so the resources can be applied directly to the problem at hand. These steps need not be costly; in many cases they can be incorporated into upgrades that have to be done for other purposes.
In addition, we can each take steps at home to make a small difference, and collectively we can make a huge difference to the environment. Some suggestions: have your septic tank pumped out regularly, install rain barrels to reduce water (and pollution) running off your yard, pick up pet waste, compost more and fertilize less, stop washing grass clippings and leaves down storm drains, wash your car on grass rather than on pavement, drive less, buy local produce from local farmers. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s website at cbf.org is a great resource.
No one is going to fix our condemned waters for us. We’re making the mess, and we have to clean it up.