Marylanders Kill Oysters 

Dear Bay Weekly:

Putting oysters in the Severn River [Creature Feature: June 10) amounts to little more than animal cruelty. Saving the Bay is not about putting the right number of oysters in the Bay; it is about improving water quality to a point that oysters can survive. The oysters that have been put in the Severn for more than two decades are dead. More than 50 percent of the oysters that Severn River Association planted this summer will be dead by next year, and their numbers will fall each subsequent year.

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to plant 12 acres of oysters on the Severn on a foundation comprised of, among other things, steel slag from Bethlehem Steel (yes, the same stuff that is laced with heavy metals). Marylanders Grow Oysters or, as I like to call it, Marylanders Kill Oysters, is the absolute worst kind of feel-good, cost-a-lot, accomplish-nothing project that distracts best intentioned members of the public from the real problem at hand: pollution, pollution, pollution.

–Howard Ernst, Annapolis


Seeking Abandoned Boats

Dear Bay Weekly:

I’m an artist in St. Mary’s County who is doing a mixed-media photo collage on the subject of abandoned pleasure boats in the region for the upcoming Green, Too, show at Annmarie Garden in Solomons. I would like to photograph a few more wrecks before I do the final piece. My piece is due July 10, but I have a feeling it’s going to be an ongoing Green-Ecological project as time goes by, judging from the interest thus far. 

Do you know of any I might photograph or anybody who would have that kind of information?

Thanks so much.

–Beverly Jackson: [email protected]


How Maryland Can Avoid a Big Mess

Dear Bay Weekly:

Some thoughts in response to Steve Carr’s June 3 column, Big Oil. Big Mess:

The key problem in the Gulf is to get as much oil out of the water as possible. A number of suggestions have been made based on lessons from other massive oil spills. Most seem ignored. There are machines to separate oil from water. They appear to be ignored.

As far as the federal involvement is concerned, they are moving at a glacial pace with no one in charge of all aspects of action. Jealousy among civilian agencies is extensive, no matter what is at stake. The Navy stockpiles material to deal with oil spills around the world. Have the Feds asked for the material to be provided in the Gulf? Not that I’ve heard.

The states impacted might take quick action, but the Feds handicap them with rules, regulations, indecision and risk-averse cultures.

Suggestion: Carefully determine and realistically define the threat; draft what is considered a reasonable plan to address the threat (prevention, solution if threat materializes); set forth state and fed actions and tasks with which individuals/groups can assist; provide for drills and training; coordinate with various state agencies; be realistic in actions suggested; present to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley with support from state agencies. Then it is up to him to propose a group overseeing Bay health.

I would add to Steve’s concern about a tanker going aground the very real possibility of sabotage. 

–Liles Creighton, Annapolis