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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I mean how much can the bay actually deal with?
Is this years mud going to choke the entire bay north of Breezy and turn it into a dead zone?
How much of a layer will be deposited on the bottom? 1"? 2"? more?
Will it recover this year? next? or will it take longer?

Sorry for all the questions but, I can't be the only one extremely concerned.
 

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All good questions. You would think the CBF would take note of all of this runoff and look into solutions other than the remedies that we currently have.
 

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Sediment control is an essential part of keeping the bay clean. BUT- folks in the construction and farming business claim draconian(reasonable) sediment control regulations are too expensive and will hurt the business, thus slowing the economy, thus driving down the standard of living for all of us. It's really very simple- the choice is clear-clean water or economic recovery? Everybody wants clean water but nobody wants to pay for it. When the lobbyists for the homebuilding industry tell the folks in Annapolis that more stringent sediment control measures will add 10% to the cost of a new house, how do you think the folks that have the power to legislate react? Do you want to be the legislator responsible for sponsoring the "Job killing sediment control bill"? In these current times? Or the bill that raises food costs due to farmers having to spend more time and $$$ controlling runoff? Joe six pack don't give a **** about water quality, he wants his cheap ground beef and chicken tenders for his kids, and $2/gal gas for his '96 F-250 4x4. I was in the residential and commercial land development industry for 20 years. Trust me-the sediment and erosion control inspector is about as popular on a construction site as a case of genital warts. The inspectors work for the county govts. If the county exec. is a "pro-business" guy, how much is he or she gonna back up the folks in the field? All it takes is a phone call from a connected developer, and suddenly the inspector is getting the message that he/she needs to "go along to get along". Trust me, I've seen it first hand a million times. It's just the way things work.
Pat in Joppa
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sediment control is an essential part of keeping the bay clean. BUT- folks in the construction and farming business claim draconian(reasonable) sediment control regulations are too expensive and will hurt the business, thus slowing the economy, thus driving down the standard of living for all of us. It's really very simple- the choice is clear-clean water or economic recovery? Everybody wants clean water but nobody wants to pay for it. When the lobbyists for the homebuilding industry tell the folks in Annapolis that more stringent sediment control measures will add 10% to the cost of a new house, how do you think the folks that have the power to legislate react? Do you want to be the legislator responsible for sponsoring the "Job killing sediment control bill"? In these current times? Or the bill that raises food costs due to farmers having to spend more time and $$$ controlling runoff? Joe six pack don't give a **** about water quality, he wants his cheap ground beef and chicken tenders for his kids, and $2/gal gas for his '96 F-250 4x4. I was in the residential and commercial land development industry for 20 years. Trust me-the sediment and erosion control inspector is about as popular on a construction site as a case of genital warts. The inspectors work for the county govts. If the county exec. is a "pro-business" guy, how much is he or she gonna back up the folks in the field? All it takes is a phone call from a connected developer, and suddenly the inspector is getting the message that he/she needs to "go along to get along". Trust me, I've seen it first hand a million times. It's just the way things work.
Pat in Joppa
I know all that you just posted is more or less fact but, if Alaska, Florida, and some other states that have enacted powerful pro fish and pro environmental laws I don't see where we can't step up to the plate.

My whole political theory is for single term limits (eliminating career politicians) and make them maybe 5-6 (or whatever) years therefore elected officials can make the right, decisions and not the popular ones and not have to worry about being elected again...Also limiting campaign spending therefore leveling the playing field and eliminating lobbyists...I know what planet do I think this is going to work on but, I can dream can't I?
 

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Long running core sample studies show the average sedimentation across the bay is about .5 cm per year. Fortunately oysters grow 2 to 3 inches per year on average and can keep on going.

This does not mean there are not higher loads in localized areas. Further sediment/pollution controls should definitely be pursued.
 

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its Penna. & New York topsoil, Get Penna. to Dredge Behind the Dam --
 

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Sediment control is an essential part of keeping the bay clean. BUT- folks in the construction and farming business claim draconian(reasonable) sediment control regulations are too expensive...

... It's just the way things work.
Pat in Joppa
An most unfortunate reality. Very well and succinctly put, Pat. Thank you for confirming from the inside what we on the outside observe going on all the time.

Locally here, in constructing the North Camp ski slope complex, Wisp / Deep Creek Development Corporation willfully chose to completely jettison their approved sediment and erosion control plan, and then to simply gouge the entire side of the mountain top to bottom in one fell swoop, and the results were predictably disastrous for Hoyes Run (the state's most unique trout stream, which now flows much diminished and even more imperiled by the threat of groundwater withdrawal through my back yard). Then after the fact Wisp just paid the fine, which at about $10K was a huge cost savings to them since it saved them so much time on the project. They studiously refered to the issue as a mere "sequencing problem", when the problem was that they followed absolutely NO SEQUENCE of clearing/grubbing/then stabilizing the lowermost portion of each ski run (while under construction) WHATSOEVER prior to even touching the next highest forested section. The growing season is short here, and so their schedule did not provide for establishment of adequate grass cover over the course of at least one winter! Adding insult to injury, even after these debacles, they never managed to put in place and maintain anything but [email protected] sediment detention measures. I'd go up during routine rain events and stare in disbelief at the small river of mud tearing off downhill into the valley below. As written, the laws/regs only require enough protection to "control" a precipitation event with a two-year return frequency (if memory serves). That means every year there is a 50% chance of its being exceeded, in which case even well positioned and maintained control measures are totally overwhelmed (just like Lucy on the conveyor belt, attempting to eat all the bon-bons or whatever, it would be comical if it were not so tragic). This on slopes too steep to even be considered for homesite construction... anywhere (an exception in this reg was put in place for new ski slopes, of course).

When I spoke with the regulator/inspector the last time, he said "we finded 'em once, what more do you want us to do?" Until and unless something like a work stoppage is imposed on developers (after remediation measures are completed and are inspected as being up to snuff), they'll take the 'easy button' every time. Its just good business, after all.

So as you say, we have environmental degradation essentially by design, even as we claim to be "looking out" for things. The whole system is set up to fail in everything but its PR aspects. My .02
 

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All I know is when I pulled my boat from Tydings on Tuesday after sitting for 5 days there was an honest 1/4" of mud/silt on top of my trim tabs. Was amazed at how much had settled on them in that short a period and that's only from the 1st 10" or so of the water column.
 

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There is a very good article about silt coming down from the Susky in this month's issue of Chesapeake Bay Boating magazine. You can read it online here, but I highly recommend this month's paper issue because there is also an excellent piece by John Page Williams on side scan technology.
 

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Unless the Bay catches fire like the Cuyahoga river did back in '67, don't expect our esteemed public servants to implement any real management policies with regard to the Bay's on-going health.

The sad fact is that that the vast majority of people living in the Bay's watershed are content looking at brown water as they head over the Bay bridge on their way to OC. The don't know nor care about oil in the water, sewage spills, fish kills, algae blooms, trash, etc. As a result, rest assured that our deeply caring, unselfish, non-self serving, honest politicians will continue to do the "right thing", that being "go along to get along". This policy not only keeps them collecting business campaign contributions, but appears to be what the general public will tolerate.
 

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Points out how badly the bay needs filter feeders like oysters / clams , menhadden and underwater grasses to counter all the silt.

I fished today ( May 6th ) below #78 marker and had dirty water on the outgoing current.
 
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