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The Baltimore Engineers and the Chesapeake Bay, 1961-1987

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The Chesapeake Bay is a remarkably delicate and complex body of water. Any change in its environment, whether from natural or man-made forces, is likely to have wide consequences. For a long time natural forces were the overwhelming factors in determining the abundance of its aquatic life but in the 20th century, man has become the greatest threat. Hardly a week goes by without the appearance of a story detailing yet another abuse of the Bay. Sewage, fertilizers, toxic chemicals, sediments, acid rain and numerous other problems have received attention. Today, however, the newspapers also carry many articles on the large-scale struggle to save the Bay. This book examines a small but highly significant part of that important effort. Like the great estuary itself, the administrative machinery and political decision-making underlying the restoration of the Chesapeake are very complex. Dozens of federal agencies operate in the Bay area, three state governments and the District of Columbia play an important role, and a host of county and local governments are involved along with a wide variety of private interests-businesses, trade associations, yacht clubs, property owner associations and citizen environmental groups. Amidst this array of public and private institutions is the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore District encompasses the great majority of the Bay and its tributary rivers. Only a relatively small portion of the lower Bay lies outside its jurisdiction. The Corps of Engineers is only one of many agencies sharing responsibility for the Bay area, and its activities are closely coordinated with other agencies. Nevertheless, its role as a separate entity is extensive and important.

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  • Humanities and History
  • Civil Engineering
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Water Pollution and Control

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