Junior Girl Scout troup 10324   Photo by Kimbra Cutlip/CBF StaffJunior Girl Scout troup 10324 of Sparrows Point, Maryland, displays the plaque CBF presented to the troop for its commitment to the Blueprint. Photo by Kimbra Cutlip/CBF Staff

Girl Scouts Defending the Future

"If we get it, why don't these politicians get it?"
— Clara, Girl Scout Troup 10324 of Sparrows Point and Dundalk

 

Ten-year-old Melek has grown up fishing, swim- ming, and watching osprey raise their young on Jones Creek in Baltimore County. The Chesapeake has always been her playground. So when her grandmother told her that officials from 21 states as far away as Alaska would be fighting against clean water in her own back yard, she was confused and upset.

But it was true. A coalition of lobbyists from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Home Builders, the Fertilizer Institute, and other groups have recruited the support of 21 state attorneys general to fight the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. The move is part of the coalition's appeal of Federal District Judge Sylvia Rambo's October 2013 ruling upholding the legality of the Blueprint. CBF was a party to the original case and supported EPA's authority to set, along with the Bay states, science-based pollution limits. CBF is now a party to the appeal.

The legal details may be more nuanced than young Melek needs to understand in order to realize what's at stake if the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are not restored. "There won't be any fish or any swimming," she said. Melek rallied her Junior Girl Scout Troop around the issue. Together, they wrote letters to all 21 state attorneys general asking them to reverse their opinions, to stand with us in support of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. The girls' efforts were rewarded with letters from some of the attorneys general, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, and President and First Lady Obama.

When Will Baker invited the troop to a day at the Philip Merrill Environmental Center, he expressed a sentiment that holds true for all of our supporters and defenders of the Blueprint. "The involvement of young people like you inspires me," he said. "You are critical to the success of the Bay's restoration."

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