By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Everything takes a starting point and this last day of January makes the first day of the “Reclaim the Bay” campaign.

Alex DeMetrick reports the goal is big and is counting on all of us to pull off.

To restore the bay’s health, the water feeding it has to be healthy.

“We’re talking about our streams, our rivers, our reservoirs, our groundwater, our drinking water supplies,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert Summers.

In kicking off the campaign, the O’Malley administration ran some big numbers. Roughly a billion was spent to upgrade sewage treatment plants and water quality projects to trap nitrogen before it triggers dead zones. Millions more went to farmers who plant cover crops that absorb excess fertilizer and maybe the biggest challenge was finding a way to control urban stormwater runoff.

“The sources that we now need to control are more challenging but there are things we have done that we didn’t think we’d be able to do,” said Dr. Don Boesch, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

Like reducing the amount of nitrogen from air pollution, which also makes its way into water. But Reclaim the Bay is thinking small, challenging Marylanders not to litter or use too much fertilizer.

And with nearly six million of us…

“There’s a lot of different practices. I think if Marylanders, many more of them, simply knew about the local watersheds, we would be in much better shape,” said Jana Davis, Chesapeake Bay Trust.

And what’s in better shape upstream eventually means a bay in better shape.

The “Reclaim the Bay” campaign is planning a wide-ranging roll out, promoting small, cost-effective solutions every Marylander can use.


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