2006 Maryland Elections

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Saving Marylands Environment

The 2006 Maryland elections have raised a number of issues that need to be addressed within the state. Most constituents are concerned about the current fiscal and social issues within the state, but what many overlook are the environmental concerns facing Maryland. Maryland is home to the largest bay in the country and with that geographical element comes a lot of responsibility in preserving the Chesapeake and its wetlands.

Recently, Cambridge and Dorchester counties, two of the most rural in the state, have asked for a resort to be built near a wildlife refuge. The resort would hopefully bring in millions of dollars in tax money and attract more people to move back to the eastern shore (Pelton). The Blackwater Wildlife Refuge is currently protected from intense development, but approval of the proposed Blackwater resort would forgo the current law and allow the building of a golf course, neighborhood, hotel, and conference center (Pelton). The development is currently scheduled to be built on farmland that the state has coined as a "resource conservation area" (Pelton). Both counties have called for a meeting of the state's Critical Area Commission to reconsider the current law and allow for the continuation of the development (Pelton).

This issue has raised a growing environmental concern for the state of Maryland and the ongoing gubernatorial election. Current governor Robert Ehrich has okayed the project, stating that it should be a local governmental issue. However, he has recently asked to review the issue and make a final decision. Democratic candidate Martin O'Malley has weighed in on the enviromental issue and feels the development should not continue. O'Malley has announced that he would support state transferred-tax dollars to buy and protect two thirds of the Blackwater wetlands (Pelton).

The 2006 gubernatorial election is crucial to the preservation of not only the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, but also the Chesapeake Bay and the environmental concerns of the state of Maryland. Maryland is blessed with some of the most beautiful landscape in the country and preservation of it should be a priority. I fully support Martin O'Malley's plan to use tax money to purchase and preserve the wetlands threatened. As a citizen of Maryland and one who frequently visits the eastern shore, I would hope the counties affected would realize the importance of Maryland's environment. Most Marylanders appreciate and view the eastern shore an a quiet escape to a growing state and the development of such resorts would greatly affect this idea.

Pelton, Thomas. "Shore Resort Pondered." The Baltimore Sun. 4October 2006. http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/realestate/bal-md.blackwater04oct04,1,5466265.story.


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