Kids Say NO to Site 104
by Mary Catherine Ball

Who says kids can't make a difference? Or at least try?

When second-graders at Key School in Annapolis learned of an environmental concern, they wrote letters to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Here's the story.

Many rivers feed the Bay. On their long and winding trips to the Bay, all those rivers pick up heavy loads of dirt. Settling onto the Bay bottom, all that silt eventually chokes harbors like the Port of Baltimore. To keep the waterways open for big ships, the silt must be dredged out of harbors.

Then, just like when you sweep your room, you've got piles of dirt on your hands.

The Army Corps wants to put this dirt back in the Bay, across the Bay Bridge near Kent Island.

This spot is a deep hole known as Site 104.

But defenders of the environment fear that loose silt will cover and kill the growing animal and plant life in the Bay.

All this upset Erin Morgan's second graders, especially when they found out that other Bay dumping is against the law. They wanted to do something to protect the environment, not hurt it. The class of 16 sent letters.

Their letters were mailed to New Bay Times as well as to many state and national elected officials.

Here are paragraphs from some of those letters.

If you dump in the Bay, we won't be able to swim, eat seafood, waterski, wind surf, tube, fish or boat.
-Kenny Karsten, Annapolis


Would you want to die or save money? What would you want the Chesapeake Bay to look like, a trashcan? If you dump, it will. You will kill the sea life and then the grass and meat and plants and pets and then us and you and everybody in the world.

-Philip Skipp, Arnold


I am mad because you are destroying the Earth. God was kind enough to give us this world. If you pollute the Earth, there will be nothing left. We will have nothing to eat and the Earth will smell bad. All of the animals will die and so will people. It's like a food chain. When you start, it will not stop. I will pray that you change your minds and I will pray for animals.

-Desiree Blackstone, Churchton

Help Frankie Fish find his way through the black, mucky water.

When Delegate Virginia Clagett received the package of letters, she read each one and wrote each student back. Here's what she said to Kenny Karsten:


Dear Kenny:

I was so glad to receive your letter. I agree with you that we cannot allow anyone to harm the Chesapeake Bay. I, too, enjoy water activities and seafood, and, like you, I wouldn't want those things to be lost from my life. As a delegate I am doing the very best I can to prevent this harm from happening.

Thank you for being a concerned second grader. You have done what each of us has to do. You have tried to protect what you value by making your opinions known. You are the kind of good citizen that makes democracy work.

-Del. Virginia Clagett, Annapolis

Kids' Calendar

Cuddle Cat in the Hat Sat. July 10 (11am)-Read Cat in the Hat all the time? Bring your camera and a great big hug to meet this storybook feline. Zany Brainy, Annapolis Harbour Ctr.: 410/266-1447

Meet a Civil War Soldier Sat. July 10 (1-4pm)-See a person from the past. Andrew Ryan is a captured Civil War soldier from 1864. Make a soldiers' epaulette, a special ornament on a uniform. Enjoy this Star-Spangled Saturday at the Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., Baltimore. $4 w/discount: 410/385-2105.

Ssssee Ssssslithering Ssssssnakessssss Sun. July 11 (1-2pm)-Ssss! Water snakes slither and bask in the sun with their friends. Keep your eyes out for snakes, painted turtles and other creatures as you explore Jug Bay. Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, 1361 Wrighton Rd., Lothian: 410/741-9330.

Play for the Day July 13-Aug. 3 (9:30-11:30)-Ready to play with kids your own age? Two-year-olds listen to music and stories, make crafts and have time for free play. Parents assist in classroom (rotating schedule.) Tues @ YWCA Building, Arnold: 410/626-7800.

Ready for The Best Schoolyear Ever Tues. July 13 (7pm)-Get ready for fall by reading The Best Schoolyear Ever by Barbara Robinson. Discussion for readers in grades 4-6 at Borders, Bowie: 301/352-5560.

Practice the Positive July 13-14 (10:30am & 2pm)-Got a good attitude? Got an imagination? Steven Courtney, musician and storyteller, encourages you to keep up the good work with song and dance. Calvert County Public Library brings Courtney to town. July 13 10:30am @ Prince Frederick Rescue Squad, 2pm @ Dunkirk Fire Department July 14 10:30am @ Northeast Comm. Center, Chesapeake Beach 2pm @ Southern Comm. Center, Lusby: 410/535-0291.

Beautiful Bugs Wed. July 14 (10-10:30am)-Remember "Ladybug, Ladybug fly away home?" Learn about the importance of ladybugs and why we really like them. Make your own ladybug picture after talking about bugs and walking around a nature center. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Nature Center, Port Republic. rsvp: 410/535-5327.

| Issue 27 |

Volume VII Number 27
July 8-14, 1999
New Bay Times

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