In this an interview with Howard Ernst, an expert on the Chesapeake Bay, howardernst.com/.
The interview was conducted 2011-03-01. I used a Panasonic TM700 for video and a Nikon D7000 for still, and FCP to edit the text and video together.
This is being broadcast on a web TV channel MarineBizTV devoted to maritime industry:
video.marinebiztv.com/videos.php?video=NTY3OA== (for part 1).
Prof. Ernst addresses the following questions:
In your books Chesapeake Bay Blues and Fight for the Bay,
you talked about the Chesapeake Bay pollution problem. What are the key
environmental variables which are used to measure the health
of the Bay?
You mentioned that the nutrients arise from a couple of sources. More
specifically, how do these pollutants arise?
In your book Chesapeake Bay Blues, I think you mentioned 50%-60%
of the pollution arises from this source, or from non-point
sources. Am I remembering that right?
Speaking of regulation, there a Chesapeake 2000 Agreement.
Can you explain that?
The Chesapeake 2000 Agreements specify that the nutrients
entering the Bay must drop down to a specific number
of pounds per year, is that correct?
What was the target amount? 150 million pounds of nitrogen/year
Who is responsible for guiding the effort to achieve this target
In the 2010 State of the Bay report, the EPA rated the health
of the Bay at 31/100 - a D+! (laugh)
In Dec 2010, the EPA announced it ``may'' impose
Has the EPA stated what the total maximum daily load is
that states must abide by?
Isn't the Susquehanna River the main source of water for the
Are phosphorus and nitrogen equally bad for the Chesapeake Bay?
Does agricultural waste produce both nitrogen and phosphorus?
In 1995, the Susquehanna River produced by far the largest amount of
nitrogen per unit flow, compared to other tributaries. However,
the James River produced more phosphorus per unit amount of water flow.
Why do these amounts differ?
Which commercial interests, besides tourist, require a clean Bay?
The word ``conservation'' was coined by a writer who intended
that the environment be managed to achieve the greatest good for
the greatest number of people. Would you say that agribusiness
corporations have this ``greatest good'' in mind when they make
The February 2011 Environmental Maryland Research & Policy Center
report ``Growing Influence'' ranks the agriculture corporation
lobbying efforts. The ones at the top of those trying to influence
Maryland Laws appear to be Midwest corporations, such as Monsanto
(a multinational corporation headquartered in Missouri). Can you
I think I read that federal funds for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation
were cut in Congress very recently. Is that correct?
What can a major agri-business do to help the Bay, assuming they wanted
to? If I was an agri-business CEO, what should I do?
Are there technological advances which help solve the problem?
There is a fish called Menhaden, a filter feeder which is beneficial to
the Bay. Yet it is fished out of the Bay in surprisingly large numbers. Can
What can be done to solve the problem?
You mentioned in your books that the computer models used by
the EPA to model pollution were flawed. Have they been corrected?
Arguing from the agri-business perspective, what proof is there
that chickens waste is polluting the Bay?
Are these computer models used to make predictions about
Is any work being done on making a more rigorous case that
poor agri-business management practices are the leading cause of
Chesapeake Bay pollution?
Is there any comparison between the legal fights of the tobacco
companies, who eventually lost, and the
current fight between clean Chesapeake Bay proponents and
the agri-business corporations?
Copyright is by David Joyner and Howard Ernst. License:
cc-by-sa , creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.
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