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Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 11/29/2010

Bay cleanup would boost local economy

By Associated Press

Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay watershed would create thousands of jobs and spur millions of dollars in economic activity in Virginia, Maryland and surrounding states, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation said in a report Monday.

Waiting to clean up the watershed will continue to create a drag on the economy that has cost billions of dollars in damage to the oyster fishing industry alone over the decades, the report said.

"The Chesapeake Bay was once one of the most productive and profitable estuaries in the world, but pollution now threatens to kill the golden goose," Ann Jennings, the foundation's executive director, said in a news release. "Dirty water is a job killer. Bay pollution is not only an ecological disaster; it's an economic one, too."

The report attempts to quantify how much pollution costs. For instance, it suggests damage to the bay's oyster population has cost Virginia and Maryland more than $4 billion over the past three decades.

The value of Virginia's seafood harvest dropped 30 percent from 1994 through 2004, while Maryland's commercial fish landings fell a like amount, according to the report.

"Due to declining numbers of blue crabs, Virginia and Maryland watermen, crab processors, wholesalers, grocers, and restaurants suffered losses of $640 million between 1998 and 2006," the report said.

Despite the losses, the report estimates the bay is worth $1 trillion.

The foundation contends cleaning up the bay would be worth millions as well.

For instance, the report cites University of Virginia research suggesting each dollar of government money spent to improve agricultural practices such as keeping animals out of streams would generate $1.56 in economic activity in the commonwealth. The report estimates improving agricultural practices also would create 12,000 temporary jobs.

Restoring the bay would inject new life into the water and the economy parts of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C., the report said. Upgrading sewers, septic systems and the like has already pumped millions of dollars into the economy and created employment opportunities for electricians, installers and others, the report said.

"Virginia and the bay states can have clean water and a growing economy," Jennings said. "Overwhelming majorities of Virginia voters understand that investments in clean water are investments in our economic future and our children's future."

By Associated Press  | November 29, 2010; 10:55 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Maryland, Virginia  
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Comments

If you REALLY want to clean the Ches Bay, get in your boats GAME WARDENS and go up and down the Potomac River all the way through Loudoun County Virginia. There are illegal aliens with permanent fishing "stations" set up on the banks and tent cities for many many illegals in the woods right out of sight. We live on the Potomac and witnessed EVERY DAY in the Spring and Summer these people throwing disposable diapers in the river, dumping their trash in the river, CUTTING TREES down along the bank so they can ALL do their laundry at once. We watched beautiful undisturbed grasses that we well rooted into the bank be turned into a mud slide in one month thanks to the mexicans. We reported all of this to Law Enforcement in Md and Va. Nothing was done... EVER! We would have seen action from our back yard. We asked a group of about 15 men, 10 women and 13 children to take their trash with them and don't dump it in river, they pulled out pistols and threatened us. "Dis is our Country now" they said. We watch them fish illegally all day and keep every little thing they catch. There is no size limit for them, they are fishing illegally! And no one checks! C'mon, stop attacking the homeowner and regulating homeowners' property use to "Save the Bay", start policing the waters and you will save the Bay.

Posted by: timpick65 | November 29, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

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