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One of my last memories of my grandfather is going boating on the Chesapeake Bay when I was 14. It was a special time, and a special place.

The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure, but it's also in big trouble. The bay has been polluted for decades. It's now unsafe to swim most of the year -- and wildlife numbers have dropped dramatically.

The EPA and seven bay-area states have a great clean water plan to drastically reduce the pollution. But greedy Big Ag and several right-wing states far from the bay, including Texas and Alaska, are suing to let the polluters keep polluting.

The Chesapeake's wildlife and economy need us to clean up the bay, not undermine EPA authority. If 40,000 folks like you speak up today, it will help give the EPA the strength to resist Big Ag and the right wing at a critical time!

Tell the EPA: The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint is great work. Ignore the right wing and keep working with local leaders to save the bay!

The suing states claim the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint violates "states' rights," but that's absurd. The seven states most impacted by the bay's pollution -- states like Virginia and Maryland -- were all key to creating the plan. As William Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, points out, "This is one of the great examples of people working together across federal, state, local business and agriculture, and it's working."

With Big Ag pulling the strings and far-away states like Alaska, Wyoming, and Texas making such a weak argument, one can only assume that their opposition is really about profit -- about letting the polluters keep polluting. They don't need a reason; they'll attack anything the EPA does just because it's the EPA -- but those of us who care about justice and the environment don't need to take it anymore.

It's up to us to beat back Big Ag and other corporate polluters. Let the EPA know you have their back, and sign the petition today!

Here's what the plan does to help clean up the bay's annual dead zones and bring back aquatic wildlife like oysters and blue crabs. Runoff is the bay's leading source of pollution -- urban pollution, agricultural pesticides, sediment, and more washing into the water from hundreds of miles around. Years of voluntary actions haven't produced the needed results, so the Clean Water Blueprint limits how much nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment can enter the bay each year. It's already making a big difference.

This plan could ultimately reduce the amount of pollution in the bay by 25%, and is a model for restoring watersheds across the country. Claudia Friedetzky, from the Sierra Club's local Maryland Chapter, calls it "the best chance that we have ever had to clean up the Chesapeake Bay." Let's not let that chance slip by.

This is the time to fight for clean water, not undermine the EPA. Sign the petition to save the bay today!

Originally posted to SierraRise - Stories to save the planet on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Maryland Kos and Virginia Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It is NOT toxic pollution that is the primary (0+ / 0-)


    What threatens the Bay is primarily nutrients (reactive nitrogen and phosphorus) from both agriculture and municipalities, as well as airborne transport of reactive nitrogen and deposition into the Bay.

    None of the nutrients are considered toxic pollutants under the Federal Clean Water Act.

    •  Agricultural and urban runoff (0+ / 0-)

      Seems like we disagree on the semantics, not the substance.

      Agricultural runoff is the primary problem, agreed. I would argue you're defining the phrase "toxic pollution" too narrowly, certainly in the lay sense that most activists and citizens require when being introduced to a new issue. Per Webster's, pollution is simply "the action or process of making land, water, air, etc., dirty and not safe or suitable to use." One of their definitions of "toxic" is "extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful." With the Bay unsafe to swim most of the year and most of the oysters, crabs, and various other species in decline for decades, this situation certainly fits those definitions.

      Of course there is a more technical definition of "toxic" as well, but even by that sense, the agricultural runoff also contains pesticides and the urban runoff pharmaceuticals.

      Want to keep up with the latest campaigns from SierraRise? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

      by Nathan Empsall SierraRise on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:45:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
        certainly in the lay sense that most activists and citizens require when being introduced to a new issue.
        The Sierra Club is a conservation organization, and any realistic interpretation of what John Muir said and did was that Sierra Club's activities were exercises in conservation stewardship, leadership and science...all three are of priority importance.

        The Sierra Club's practice of conservation stewardship, leadership and science is the language and the primary function of the Club.

        What this means is that Sierra Club's articulation of policy has to get the facts, the law and the science right....and there shouldn't be any excuses about the Sierra Club always achieving that in all activism activities.

        Matters of water pollution and beneficial use impairments and plans to remediate and control these problems in Chesapeake Bay are all elements of a scientific approach to the problem.....and the only activism that will get anything done and that Sierra Club members expect is absolutely professional and scientific description of the problems and policies being addressed.

        If you are a Sierra Club staff member walking in John Muir's shoes, your activism should be a practice conservation stewardship, leadership and science.  

        Feeding a conflation that matters of water pollution in Chesapeake bay are primarily a toxic water pollutant problem is not being honest with the public and it isn't a scientifically accurate description of the problem.

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