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Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays.

Hosted by: Scott LaMar



Smart Talk Friday is a fast-paced program featuring thoughtful and engaging conversations about the politics, policy and people who are shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Host Matt Paul and witf Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson invite your multimedia interaction before, during and after the program.

Hosted by: Matt Paul and Mary Wilson



witf introduces 'Smart Talk Friday' radio program

Radio Smart Talk: Stormwater still an issue for Chesapeake Bay

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 18, 2013 3:08 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, June 19:

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Progress has been made in the 30-year-old Chesapeake Bay clean up.  Underwater grasses are flourishing again in some rivers feeding the bay and the populations of striped bass and blue crab have increased.

Pennsylvanians have done their part toward restoration of the bay.  Farmers have changed their practices and municipalities have upgraded their waste water treatment facilities.

However, one problem that continues and is actually growing in scope is storm water run off.

Storm water run off is created when precipitation falls in urban or suburban areas and can't be soaked into the ground because there is so much pavement, concrete, roofs, or other hard surfaces.

Storm water picks up contaminants as it moves toward streams, which eventually dump into the bay.

Phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment are the three pollutants that are still growing.  Storm water can carry all three.

Appearing on Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk to address how to reduce storm water run off will be Harry Campbell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Pennsylvania.

Also, rain barrels are increasingly being used to help reduce storm water run off. 

As mentioned on the air, Harrisburg's Rain Barrel Festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 22 at 10 a.m. at the Broad Street Market, 1233 North 3rd Street.

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Jean Cutler, Andrew Bliss, and Harry Campbell

Those who liked this program probably also would enjoy witf Arts and Culture reporter Joe Ulrich's feature on the green roofs of Lancaster.  Listen here.

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Comments: 6

  • Ted img 2013-06-19 08:31

    We need another commission. With a well paid Board of Directors. Whos mandate is to keep collecting their pay checks and "study" the problem a little more. Just kidding.... a little cynicsim leaking thru... But seriously...Wouldn’t simply requiring the farmers throughout the watershed, specifically the Amish farmers, to fence off 50 ft on either side of the streams that run thru their property and allow that 100 ft buffer to revegetate naturally and in addition keep their cows out of the streams remove most of the nutrient pollution entering the Chesapeake?

    Its not that complicated. But as with most problems in the Commonwealth there is a lack of leadership with backbone.

  • Robert Colgan img 2013-06-19 08:42

    The bivalves are the filtration organisms that help to clean the CB......100 years ago the number of oysters and clams taken from the Bay was more than 30X greater than the maximum number taken now....does it not make all the sense in the world to put a moratorium on ALL shellfish in the Bay for a number of years to allow the population to come back to functional levels...... ???
    I just don't get it-------reducing the input to the Bay is absolutely necessary, but restoring the Bay organisms to the population density necessary for water cleaning seems just as critical to the Bay health.

    We give up eating the oysters and crabs for a few years-----and in return we end up with a body of water healthier and less vulnerable to water variations (both water flow and pollutants).

    • Ted img 2013-06-19 08:51

      Yeah thats not a bad idea, but isnt that treating the symptoms and not fixing the cause? If there is 50% (?) less nutrient load entering the Bay in the first place it will be that much easier for the bi-valves to help keep things clean. Fence off the streams, and keep the hog and chicken farmers from dumping waste and the problem is mostly fixed. But wait....that makes too much sense and is too easy and straighforward. Instaed lets fund a huge new commission to study things and anxiously wring their hands.

    • Ted img 2013-06-19 09:04

      Yeah thats not a bad idea, but isnt that treating the symptoms and not fixing the cause? If there is 50% (?) less nutrient load entering the Bay in the first place it will be that much easier for the bi-valves to help keep things clean. Fence off the streams, and keep the hog and chicken farmers from dumping waste and the problem is mostly fixed. But wait....that makes too much sense and is too easy and straighforward. Instaed lets fund a huge new commission to study things and anxiously wring their hands.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-06-19 08:44

    Email from Okgodana

    Sure alot up river can and should be done to help the bay.

    But all along the bay is housing,and agriculture in violation if a set back that is supposed to have a natural buffer, to prevent "any" type of run off.

    This development is illegal.

    I know what I'm talking about because several years ago I've watched a PBS special on this.

    But we never hear about this,thus making the bays problems a (up river problem only).

    All that one has to do is with a satellite view is to scan the coast And see what I mean.

    The buffer is supposed to be 100-200 feet of natural growth.

  • profbarb img 2013-06-19 18:25

    I hope WITF can put this audio on You Tube or a similar website so that we can direct our friends and neighbors to this excellent discussion.

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