Poisoned Waters and a Look at Policy

Average depth of the bay is 21 ft, it is a huge drainage a basin especially for such a shallow body of water. The documentary focused on the issues created when humans place themselves into the balanced ecosystem equation. Issues of over harvesting and polluting are addressed in this short informative documentary. Dead zones are the most straightforward indicator that a body of water is in serious danger. Do we have to wait until the conditions are so severe to get the general population to recognize that the resource is in danger? Our society as a whole is a reactive society. By that I mean it is harder to convince people that something is an issue unless they can see it.

       If some disaster does occur, take the BP oil spill then our society and the media blow up the issue and it is then that people freely voice their uneducated opinions about what they think should happen. Of course it is easy for conservationist to point a finger at the drill workers and say they are in the wrong and should stop. Until this point though the general public was complaining about the high gas prices and our dependence on foreign imports.

     If I have learned anything from Chesapeake semester and especially in Journey 4 it is that the environmental issues that we face and our future children face are wrapped up into a complex system. As much as I would like there to be, there is no one quick fix solution. The intersection of environment and economy are so interlinked that it is impossible to reform one without affecting the other. I wish there was a way to isolate the two. If they were separated we could have a healthier Chesapeake bay as well as economic success.

     There are so many aspects linked to the environment that I am almost getting overwhelmed just thinking about them. There is the link to the economic success of an area, impacts on the preservation of certain cultures like the watermen culture, political stress and misuse of power when politicians use their office to make a change that will give them more support. I would go as far as saying that the environmental issue pose a threat to the freedom and rights of humans. Of course the desperate state of the Chesapeake bay is not threatening our first amendment rights but it does pose issues.

            The concept of having to choose your battles wisely I think applies to the environmental world more than some people credit. You have to consider so many aspects when changing environmental regulations there is no way to please all parties involved. By limiting and picking reasonable regulations I think the government of all 6 states have seen some improvement while fighting back opposition. I have pointed this out before but if someone were to ever ask me why I think the bay is in such a volatile state I know exactly how I would answer. I think that the whole of the bays issues all go back to a lack of connections. There are conservationists, environmental policy makers, politicians, researchers and workers that all want something different. They all view the bay in different ways but they all want the same thing. They want to get what they want.

            The conservationists want to preserve land from development, policy makers want their laws and regulations to be taken seriously, politicians want a focused campaign to gain support for reelection, researchers want their research to be validated and taken into consideration, and lastly the workers want to make money to feed their families. Going back to the core values and motivations of human beings I can further understand where and where roadblocks of policy and regulation originate. 

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