Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Former Chesapeake Bay Scientist Weighs in on the Chesapeake Watershed

Kent Mountford, an estuarine ecologist, environmental historian and former Chesapeake Bay Program Scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency, blames a booming bay area population, lack of resources and a lack of restoration enforcement for irreversible damages to coastal Maryland. The Annapolis Capitol reports:

"...One of Mountford's accomplishments was helping to fight for a ban against phosphates in commercial detergents. The result in the Potomac River and ultimately in the bay was "quite dramatic," he said.

He also helped implement a monitoring program for the Potomac River.

Because of that experience and his connection with the bay, the EPA hired him in 1984 to coordinate the monitoring program for the bay.

"We really believed that we could save the Chesapeake Bay," he said. "From the people, there was so much hope and energy, and this was when I was joining EPA, and I thought, 'Oh this is just great, you're on the leading edge of something which has a world focus.' "

People from all over the world were coming to see the kind of new work being done on the bay, he said. But now that's changed.

"I'm afraid … the whole program and all of the dreams we had have been buried in bureaucracy and the inability to deliver," Mountford said. "The Obama administration sort of gave a real firm charge to the EPA to come on, get it together, let's clean up the Chesapeake Bay. But the resources, the muscle is not there."

Mountford doesn't believe there has ever been any serious enforcement aimed at restoring the bay, even today. He said that people keep violating law after law, and that the consequences are never that serious..."


Niko said...

It's amazing how difficult it is to convince the public of the importance of pollution problems in the bay. A generation or two down the road may not be able to eat anything from it! I think the EPA would really benifit from having someone as knowledable as you fighting this problem...js

Deborah said...

Awwwww thanks... but I am hardly so knowlegable just yet. Will be someday though. It's a shame this guy left the program though.