Blog Roll
Who's My Legislator?

Virginia Blogs
All Things Education
Augusta Free Press
Crew of 42
Dixie Pig
Greater Greater Washington
Loudoun Progress
Ox Road South Blog
Pilot on Politics" blog
Power for the People
Richmond Sunlight
RVA Politics
Shad Plank
Vivian Paige

Find more about Weather in Arlington, VA
Click for weather forecast

Advanced Search

The Chesapeake Bay's Toxic Present Could Be Our Country's Toxic Future

by: Progressive86

Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 11:38:32 AM EST

Every nation has and needs a natural symbol or symbols to represent its vibrancy, its past, its present, and its future, and its ties to the land upon which it has built its civilization. On the Atlantic Coast of the United States, the Chesapeake Bay is undoubtedly one of those symbols. Once a point of social and communal life for a number of Native American tribes, the Chesapeake Bay became a point of arrival and commerce for the newly arriving and established colonists. In other words, the Chesapeake Bay is a natural land mark that tells a story of our country's past. But it also tells a story of our country's future.

And if the health of the Chesapeake Bay is any indication of where the United States is headed, our future won't be a very clean one and, consequently, one worth striving for. A new technical report by the Environmental Protection Agency goes beyond the TMDL discussions and research and explores the toxic contaminants that are present in the Bay, and the results aren't savory.  

Some of the contaminants that are "widespread in the Chesapeake Bay" include the following: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); mercury; and pesticides. Other toxics that were found in some areas and not others include the following: dioxins; petroleum hydrocarbons; chlorinated insecticides; aluminum; and lead.

Progressive86 :: The Chesapeake Bay's Toxic Present Could Be Our Country's Toxic Future
Not all areas of the Bay are equal, therefore, in their level of contaminant pollution. But the overall conclusion is not much less disconcerting.

I hope it is clear to many what these chemicals mean to wildlife and human health. But the inundation of the Chesapeake Bay with sediment, lead, mercury, PCBs and so forth also exposes one of the U.S.'s most powerful symbols of the past and present and cultural health to a fatal conclusion: the U.S. is fundamentally harming itself at the same time that it is prospering and the ambitions that we share as a country and as a people may be coming at an unjustifiable cost.

The U.S. once prided itself on the idea of a landscape so vast and a Manifest Destiny so powerful that the laws of nature were almost seen as bending to America's will. But the sordid condition of the Chesapeake Bay is a constant and sober reminder that future generations of Americans will reap what previous generations have sown. That is not right. That is not just. That is not in line with the American dream.

We have the opportunity to turn the health of the Chesapeake Bay around. If we 'lose' the Chesapeake Bay, we not only lose an important source of revenue, an important job creator, but an important part of who we are as Americans. That is something that money cannot buy.

Tags: , , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email


Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?



Donate to Blue Virginia

The purpose of Blue Virginia is to cover Virginia politics from a progressive and Democratic perspective. This is a group blog and a community blog. We invite everyone to comment here, but please be aware that profanity, personal attacks, bigotry, insults, rudeness, frequent unsupported or off-point statements, "trolling" (NOTE: that includes outright lies, whether about climate science, or what other people said, or whatever), and "troll ratings abuse" (e.g., "troll" rating someone simply because you disagree with their argument) are not permitted and, if continued, will lead to banning. For more on trolling, see the Daily Kos FAQs. Also note that diaries may be deleted if they do not contain at least 2 solid paragraphs of original text; if not, please use the comments section of a relevant diary. For more on writing diaries, click here. Thanks, and enjoy!

P.S. You can contact us at and you can subscribe to Lowell's Twitter feed here. If you'd like to subscribe to Miles Grant's Twitter feed, click here. For Teacherken, click here. For Kindler, click here.

P.P.S. To see the Blue Virginia archive, please click here. To see the Raising Kaine archive, please click here. To see the Blue Commonwealth archive, please click here.

RSS Feed

Subscribe to Blue Virginia - Front Page

Powered by: SoapBlox