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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Cleaning the Chesapeake Requires Sticks and Carrots
10 September 2009 4:24 pm
Moving toward a final restoration strategy for Chesapeake Bay, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other federal agencies proposed new regulations and incentives to lessen pollution in a set of draft reports released today.
EPA plans to increase regulation of the excessive nutrients—coming from agriculture, sewage treatment plants, and air pollution—that have long choked the bay. "The message here is that there is a committment to increase enforceability," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said at a press conference. USDA focused on incentives, announcing it was committing $638 million of incentives over 5 years to help farmers reduce runoff from fields and barns. A report on science called for better monitoring and an ecosystem-based approach to restoration, as opposed to the current focus on water quality.
President Barack Obama called for the reports in a 12 May executive order intended to kickstart restoration efforts for the Chesapeake.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), an advocacy group based in Annapolis, Maryland, welcomed the reports, but called for tougher action.
"It appears that Administrator Jackson's EPA is finally ready to take on an ambitious agenda to reduce water pollution in our region," CBF President William Baker said in a statement. "Its suggestions for accomplishing this are positive, but weak and need strengthening." Baker would like to see stricter standards for air pollution from coal-fired power plants and vehicles, for example.
The research report, drafted by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other agencies, highlighted the need to focus on adaptive and ecosystem-based managment (EBM). "This will require significant revision of the existing Chesapeake Bay Program goals and structure," according to the report. "The desired outcome is to transform the partnership to dramatically increase the involvement of citizens and local governments, and better align federal, state, NGOs, and academic efforts to strive for a sustainable Bay and watershed through EBM."
An interagency committee will review the reports over the next 2 months and release a draft strategy on 9 November. A final strategy is due 12 May.