Conservationists say federal plan would hurt Chesapeake Bay

(Southside Daily file photo)

Conservationists in Virginia and Maryland say a Trump administration proposal could undermine efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

The measure would roll back federal protections for certain waterways and wetlands.

It would specifically impact “ephemeral” streams, which flow after a rainstorm or snowmelt.

Also under threat are isolated wetlands that experts say help to filter pesticides and fertilizer from nation’s largest estuary.

An Obama-era rule protects those particular streams and wetlands and restricts some farming on land that sits near them. Critics say the rule forces farmers to hire expensive consultants to figure out which land they can use.

But Geoff Gisler, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, called the Trump plan “a sledgehammer to the Clean Water Act.”

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.