The earliest story we have on file regarding condemned waters in Gloucester and Mathews is from 1991. The story told which waterways had such high counts of fecal coliform that it would be unsafe to eat shellfish taken from them. It showed that 4,344 acres of local waterways were considered unclean at that time.
The latest figure, printed in the July 11 Gazette-Journal, is 4,522 acres. Each year the numbers may go up or down some, especially when a lot of rain causes excessive runoff and pollution follows.
In any case, the figure is hundreds of acres too many.
A battle against water pollution has been waged here for 50 years or more—at some times with more effort and effect than at others. In that period, we have seen corresponding battles to save the oyster; save the rockfish; save the crab; to "Save the Bay," the message borne on bumper stickers distributed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
There is some progress in fighting decline, and this effect is noticed especia...
To view the rest of this article, you must log in. If you do not have an account with us, please subscribe here.