Volume 14, Issue 30 ~ July 27 - August 2, 2006

Way Downstream

On Poplar Island, look for work to go on and on. The nation’s long-stalled water projects bill, which escaped the Senate last week, authorizes spending another $256 million on the busy island situated on the Bay’s eastern side near Tilghman. Already, some 40 million cubic yards of dredge spoils from shipping channels have been deposited there; the new spending will finance the project for another seven years and expand Poplar by another 575 acres

In Aberdeen, sewage spills in recent rains show why the military needs to fix its treatment plants immediately, even before the terms of a recent agreement that allows it to evade the flush tax. Three times this month, a total of more than one million gallons of partially treated sewage poured from Aberdeen Proving Ground into waterways that reach Chesapeake Bay. The state is investigating; we’ll see how sorry the army is

In far-flung Lothian, in Southern Anne Arundel County, citizens meet July 27 to create the only form of local government that flourishes in the populous, top-down county: a Lothian Citizens Association. Their first order of business will be getting educated on a 230,000-square-foot commercial strip mall at Wayson’s Corner

On the Eastern Shore, the developer of the Blackwater Resort near Cambridge says he has reduced the number of homes in his controversial proposal from 3,200 to 2,700, the Salisbury Daily Times reports. That isn’t nearly enough to assuage conservationists, who argue that it poses a dire threat to the nearby Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and to water quality in the Bay

Our Creature Feature comes from Israel, where actions by managers at the Haifa Zoo show how animals are affected — and protected — in war. Zookeepers in the city being struck by Hezbollah missiles have locked the lions, tigers, leopards and bears in bomb-proof cages called night rooms to keep them from escaping in the event of a missile strike.

“If a rocket hits the open-air pen and one of the carnivores escapes into the city, it would not be a nice prospect,” zookeeper Yoav Ratner told Reuters. “Thankfully the night rooms are secure; they are like bomb shelters.” For now, the zoo, like much of the northern Israeli city, is shuttered.

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