The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum 2007

Points of View & Thoughtful Questions - Local Government

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 hampshire watershed committee   Senator Zvimalano People for the enviroment

Mike Matt Heather

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Local Government

hampshire watershed committee Hampshire H.S. / Moore

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

1:18 PM

  We, as the local goverment, want to change our laws and regulations to restrict the use of fertilizers, and other non-point source pollutants.  We want to raise taxes on city water, even though it may not sit well with many people, we believe it will benefit the environment.

  We would use the extra money from the city water taxes to make water treatment facilities more efficient to help make Chesapeak Bay Watershed cleaner.

  The cleaner water will benefit the homeowners, farmers, recreationalists, and everyone else who enjoys the rivers, streams, and lakes because the fish will be non-polluted and edible.  The water will also be clean enough to swim safely without having to worry about harmful substances in the water.

  If the people want this dream to become a reality, they can take action and elect, pro-environment type, local politicians who will help combat these inconviences become problems of the past.




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   From:    Chesapeake Homeowners Association Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School /


                                                                                                                              6:32:00 AM

          Regarding the raise in city water taxes, we pose these questions. How large are the

          municipalities that are having their water tax raised? Also, by what percent are you

          planning on raising a water tax to be able to raise the kind of funds required to build

          water treatment facilities? If you're talking about small cities, the percent increase on

          the water tax would have to be rather high and we don't foresee the citizens of that city

           accepting such an increase. What else could you do to raise the money for such water

          treatment facilities?


   From: Anonymous


                                                                                                                              6:47:00 AM

          I don’t believe that you can restrict the use of fertilizers.  Farmers use fertilizers to

          help increase their yield.  Maybe instead of completely restricting the use of fertilizers

          you could suggest using Best Management Practices to help reduce the excess fertilizer

          or suggest using non-chemical fertilizers.  How much are you planning to increase

          taxes?  Would you please explain other ways to help improve our environment because I

          don’t think that solely increasing taxes will solve this problem.


   From:    Fishing and Boating Industries (F.B.I.) Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School /


                                                                                                                              7:25:00 AM

          In your P.O.V., you say that city taxes would be used to upgrade the water treatment

          facilities.  Would taxes on water in a small city in Hampshire County be enough to

          improve a water treatment facility?


  From:    Team Awesome Broadway H.S. / Rissler


                                                                                                                            12:33:00 PM

         Another solution to the fertilizer problem with farmers would be instilling waste

         management plans. Using these, farmers would have to enforce useful practices such as

         buffer zones around nearby water. These could include tall grass or lots of trees 10-20

         yards around the water. These small practices will help stop runoff, such as excess

         fertilizer from farms.

  From:    People for the enviroment Jefferson H.S. / Gipson


                                                                                                                              7:13:00 AM

         Why would you want to raise the taxes?When nobody would be able to afford it.


  From:    Frightened Fisherman North Harford H.S. / OLeary


                                                                                                                            12:03:00 PM






Local Government


Senator Zvimalano Aberdeen H.S. / McDonough


                                                                                                                           10:15:00 AM

As members of the local legislature in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, we represent the people

fully. While we have obligations to both the citizens and the environment, the people’s interests

 will always be more important in our legislative decisions. Based on a growing concern for the

health of the bay, we feel compelled to address the issue. The health of the Patuxent River and

the Choptank River in the bay has recently been analyzed as a ‘D’ by the top environmentalists

in our area. Some of the bay’s worst pollutants come from manure, lawn fertilizer, and human

waste. To fix these problems, we can set aside a greater budget for fixing the bay. We plan to

raise money by taxing behaviors that detriment the health of the bay, such as commercial

fishing and boating. The money that will be raised will go to research to discover best

management practices in those areas and to fund programs that will raise awareness of the

activities that detriment the bay. This will benefit us directly because of special interest

groups that will raise money for our campaigns for reelection. Our group would prosper

because the citizens would only elect people whom are willing to fight for the health of their

bay. Let us help you help us.



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  From:    Farmers and Landowners Cooperative Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School /


                                                                                                                             6:57:00 AM

         Stakeholders know the ways to fix the problems. BUT - we are not economically able

         to...that is where you come in. We dont need money to find solutions, we need money to

         implement these solutions. Also, why are you going to tax commercial fishing and

         boating? These companies are already losing money due to the fish loss. By the way, it's

         nice to know that your main goal behind it all is reelection, remember you're an

         incumbant - you should be fine.



Local Government


People for the enviroment Jefferson H.S. / Gipson


                                                                                                                            6:57:00 AM

 We are the concerned citizens of the local government. We are important because we can

provide more money to local clean up crews to clean up the bays and the streams,because, think

about it, if our streams and bays are polluted, no one is going to want to swim in there or even

want to drink that water around here. If we give them money to the clean up the place, it might

cost money, but we will be able to get it clean, wont we?



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  From:    Happy Campers North Harford H.S. / OLeary


                                                                                                                            11:44:00 AM

         Yes, we understand that you help provide money for clean up crews for the Bay, but have

          you even considered that restoring the Bay may require more extensive work than just

         paying someone to clean it up now and then? Other possible solutions go past cleaning

         the Bay and into making sure it doesn't get polluted in the first place. You can plant trees

          around the Bay to prevent runoff into the Bay. Also, you can create a solution for

         pollution, like installing more trash cans and recycling bins in recreational areas.


         Response from  People for the enviroment Jefferson H.S. / Gipson


                                                                                                                                 7:11:00 AM

                Why would we want to put trees near the bay when that would just make the bay more

                dirtier than usual. Putting trees near the bay is a very bad idea because it would cause the

                animals to destroy the bay more often.The idea we chosed was a very good idea.

  From:    Happy Campers North Harford H.S. / OLeary


                                                                                                                            11:36:00 AM

         I am responding to someone's response to our suggestion for the "people for the

         environment". We sugegsted planting a riparian buffer to help improve the Bay. Your

         response was that it would make the Bay dirtier and cause animals to destroy the Bay,

         which is kind of wrong. A riparian buffer's purposes are to trap sediment (ultimately

         making water less turbid and building stream banks), and to filter pollutants (lessen

         pollution from surface runoff and enhance water quality). Also, I don't see how it would

         cause animals to destroy the Bay, could you please explain to me how that would work?

         The riparian buffer would provide a habitat for the animals, yes, but I don't see how

         that would lead to them destroying the Bay?


         For more information regarding riparian buffers try this link:




  From:    Farmer Friends of the Bay North Harford H.S. / OLeary


                                                                                                                             12:12:00 PM

         What types of methods do you plan to use to clean up the bay? You could try using

            riparian buffers or cover crops to control pollution in your communities


  From:    Farmers and Landowners Cooperative Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School /


                                                                                                                             6:30:00 AM

         Maybe you should do a bit more research on riparian buffers. Here's a good website to

         look at:

  From:    Blankenship Development Massanutten Reg. Gvnrs. School / Newcomer


                                                                                                                             6:37:00 AM

         In regards to planting trees around the Chesapeake Bay, it is actually a good idea.  By

         creating a riparian buffer, it will limit the amount of run-off going into the Chesapeake

         Bay.  The trees will absorb the nutrients that are harmful to the Bay.  Therefore, it will

         be cleaner and less polluted.


  From:    Fishing is Good Clean Fun!!!! North Harford H.S. / OLeary


                                                                                                                            11:53:00 AM

         what exactly are you proposing be done to help clean up the bay?



Local Government


Mike Matt Heather James Wood H.S. / Fordyce


                                                                                                                            8:20:00 AM

     The local government has the power and the money to help the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

The Bay’s problems affect everyone who lives in Virginia, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, and

West Virginia. The Bay’s problems include pollution, destruction of habitat, and a rapid rate of

indigenous species dying off. Therefore several occupations are in danger. The local

government is responsible for the welfare of the people. As pollutants enter the Bay the

problem becomes a snowball effect. The problem becomes bigger and more wide spread. It

affects the lifestyles, income, and health of all citizens in the area. If we continue to pollute

the Bay the animals that live there will die off and fishermen live off the money they make for

catching fish and crabs. Also, groups of all ages use the Bay for recreational purposes. If the

Bay becomes too polluted it wouldn’t be safe for anyone to go in the water. The bigger the

problem becomes, the less people use it for recreation or to earn a living. This in turn

undermines the local tax base and economy. This means less capital for the for the government

agencies which means less services can be offered to the local population. A solution to help

the Bay would be to cut back on pollution. For example instead of dumping your dirty mop water

 on your driveway you could flush it down the toilet. We could also clean up the rivers that

dump water into the Bay. Also, when we are out on the Bay or the rivers we could keep our trash

 in the boat until you are back on land. Another way to clean up the Bay would be to set up a

volunteer program that’s main purpose would be to pick trash up on the beach and to try to get

some of the trash out of the water. By creating buffer zones or barriers between the

waterways and the fields of farms, the farms will lose production but will reduce the run offs

into the waterways. This can be done with minimum cost. Another way would be to regulate the

waste water from processing manufacturing and sewage treatment facilities. Inspectors form

government agencies, already employed by the government, would be used for this task which

will keep the cost of this effort at a minimum but will bring the taxes up slightly. If you fix the

 pollution problem you fix the problem of the habitat and the problem of the indigenous species

dying off. The solutions will cause some extra time and energy and also some financial issues.

However, the Bay is worth the extra time, energy, and money.       The solutions will cost some

money. Everybody would have to up some things like getting off your beach towel and throwing

your rash in a trashcan instead of leaving it on the beach. The solutions would benefit us

directly. It will take some time but once the Bay becomes cleaner the habitat will become

healthy again. Once the habitat is healthy the animals will become more numerous and the

fishermen will be able to maintain their standard of living and job.  Also, the people who use the

 Bay for recreational purposes will not have to worry about getting sick because the water is so

 polluted. As I said before, the local government is responsible for the people’s well being.

Therefore, if the people’s well being is protected the solutions have directly benefited the

local government. I could make the local officials more willing to participate by reminding

them that they were elected to their job and could be elected out. Also, I could point out that it

is their job to protect the people who elected them. The solutions could be structured so that my

group could prosper by organizing days to clean up the Bay. Also, by directly helping to clean

up the Bay on the organized days my group would prosper. If my group was so harmed that we disappeared, the project to clean up the Bay would suffer because the local government is

helping to fund the project. We are also using our physical capabilities to help as well.    

Therefore, the local government needs to keep our community clean. That community includes the Bay and the rivers that dump water into the Bay.



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Local Government




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