Not In My Back Yard

July 26, 2012

Runoff Pollution into Chesapeake Bay Affected by Distant Urban and Rural Planning

To change a thing, we must first be mindful of it.  To be mindful, is, in a way, to observe.  Steve Szkotak’s Associated Press article in the Washington Post, 25 July 2012 sheds more light on how communities that are not even contiguous to the Chesapeake shoreline play a vital role in restoring and preserving the health of the Bay.

The studies focused on communities near the James, the Potomac, and the Rappahannock rivers, and show how important, and simple, green space can be in reducing runoff into the Bay.  Another crucial element involves reducing impermeable surfaces by narrowing roadbeds.

Rain needs to get into the ground as soon as possible after it first splashes down.  Complicating and lengthening water’s trip to the Chesapeake involves concentrating it in such a way that it will pick up and carry all manner of unhealthy chemical and biological elements along with it.

Acting on the results of these studies will help developers reduce the impact of building even some distance from the Chesapeake herself.  As understanding of these environmentally friendly practices become law, and become more widely understood, residents who might not see the Chesapeake from one week to the next will realize their power to help the bay by the choices they make about communities in which they live, and even the structures they occupy.