Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

A lot has been written lately about cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. One of the main pollutants is animal waste, mostly chicken poop. Apparently chicken farmers have a lot of pull when it comes to stopping attempts to get them to treat their chicken's waste before dumping it onto their land from where it simply washes into The Bay. (I wonder how the public would feel about thousands of tons of human waste being dumped into The Bay untreated?)

Anyway here are two procedures placed side by side for your consideration.

In the first the chicken farmers dump several thousand tons of chicken manure into The Chesapeake Bay. (For drama lets have them back their trucks up and dump some of it say off the beach at Sandy Point State Park, and some off of the Bay Bridge, maybe a few into the Annapolis and Baltimore Inner Harbors, and of course don't forget your favorite fishing spot, the waterfront property of a few politicians and just for good luck your waterfront, if you happen live on the water.) Now we go back a week, or a month, or a year later and "Clean it up" Yep we go out there and "Clean up The Bay". Find all that chicken shit that we dumped in there, get it out and treat it. I imagine it would be very very expensive, and of course impossible.

Second alternative, treat the manure BEFORE putting it into The Bay. Or even don't put it into The Bay, even after treating it.

A revolutionary idea?

Could it even be cheaper to treat it BEFORE rather than AFTER dumping it into The Bay? After all we do treat human waste first, why not animal waste? It would have to be cheaper than trying to clean it up after it has been put in there.

As an experiment try taking an armload of newspapers and dumping them off the end of a pier. Then go back, just the next day, and pick it all out. It would take a while, possibly your whole lifetime, much will have floated away, all will be so wet and soggy you won't even be able to pick it up. Now compare the alternative - dump the armload of newspapers into your recycling bin. There, wasn't that easier, quicker, cheaper and less messy?

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