When Bay Cleanup Gets Tough, Tough Lower Goals?

Shelley Fleming

Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay has been more than just a challenge. It's been darn near impossible.

Years of promises and hope that the Bay could be restored to its once stunning self have turned to months of consternation for environmentalists who have yet to see the results they're looking for.

In fact, the whole effort seemed to take a few steps back in November when new computer models showed that unless enviros could stop the Potomac River from flowing into the bay, those goals might not come to fruition, according to the Washington Post.

So when the going gets tough on the bay, the tough consider setting lower goals, or just forgetting they set goals in the first place.

"If it's not realistic to be able to achieve the standards, then you need to do something," one environmental official told the Post.

In response, the EPA-led Chesapeake Bay Program set out to "quantify the 'do-ability' " of the bay's goals, to ask if they are "an impossible stretch or just a difficult stretch," according to memos posted on the program's Web site.

Any way you look at it, it's a stretch to think that the years of neglect the bay has received can be undone in just a few short years.

But the recent bad news shouldn't discourage enviros from reaching their goals. Just because a job is hard doesn't mean it can't be done, or that expectations should be lowered. The bay needs more help now than ever, and if they aren't going to stand up for it and fight, who will?

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