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Save The Bay - Or the Farmer?

Save The Bay - Or the Farmer?
Public cools on Chesapeake Bay cleanup while regulatory mindsets heat.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - via President Obama’s executive order - may be intent on mandating tougher Total Daily Maximum Loads for 150 major tributaries and thousands of streams emptying into the Chesapeake Bay. And Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s, D-Md., bill to strengthen the Clean Water Act advanced out of committee early this month - but not without losing its key feature, making those TDMLs a rule of law.

BIGGEST BAY FEEDER: Much of the Chesapeake Bay’s fresh water comes from New York and Pennsylvania watersheds via the Susquehanna River.

While the environmental community is fixed on cleaning up the Chesapeake, public support is waning because of the cost to taxpayer and rising concern over the economy, jobs and terrorism. That’s the bottom line of a national survey conducted earlier this year by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press.

Protecting the environment ranked 16th on a "top priority" list of 21 for government action, according to the Pew poll. In January 2007, the environment ranked 8th on the priority list. A far larger majority of those polled this year ranked strengthening the nation’s economy, job creation and defending against terrorism as top priority.

Public perception of agriculture’s role is crucial

While most public opinion polls cast farmers in a positive light, little is known about their perception of farmers specifically as environmentalists. To shed some light on this, American Agriculturist asks you to answer two quick poll questions: Click here to take survey.

TAGS: Regulatory
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