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LETTER: More work to be done on water pollution

LETTER: More work to be done on water pollution

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More work to be done on water pollution

Unfortunately, Lake Anna is once again making summer headlines due to dangerous harmful algal blooms, keeping people out of the water on hot days [“Team trying to tackle Lake Anna algae issue,” Aug. 8].

While Lake Anna is often hard hit, it’s not alone. In recent weeks, algal blooms have caused concern at the Virginia Beach oceanfront and led to thousands of dead fish washing up on the shores of Annapolis.

Algal blooms are fueled by pollution from farms, developed areas, sewage treatment plants and excess fertilizer on homeowners’ lawns. To prevent this problem, Virginia legislators—meeting this month in a special session—must maintain support for programs that reduce this pollution.

Harmful algal blooms not only threaten the health of people having fun on the water, they imperil the economy and quality of life at places that rely on clean water to attract visitors and residents.

Though the problem persists, the Lake Anna Civic Association and partners deserve applause for their hard work to improve water quality. Dedication like this can be seen across Virginia as we work under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the regional partnership focused on cleaning up local waterways and the Bay by 2025.

Farmers are fencing cattle out of streams, homeowners are reducing fertilizer use, cities are controlling stormwater with stream restorations and green spaces, and sewage treatment plant upgrades are leading to less pollution.

But as Lake Anna’s algae problem shows, there’s a lot left to do before 2025. Jobs, local economies and our health all depend on clean water.

Just as we urge all Virginians to manage lawn fertilizers carefully, this special session we also urge Virginia money committee chairs Del. Luke Torian, Sen. Janet Howell and other state legislators to invest in wastewater treatment plant upgrades, the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund and Virginia’s Agricultural Cost-Share program.

Peggy Sanner

Virginia Executive Director,

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

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