|Action||Develop requirements that will address concerns regarding transfer and off-site management of poultry waste in the Commonwealth.|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/21/2009|
17809 Black Stallion Way
Germantown, MD 20874
I'm writing concerning the proposed Poultry litter regulation in the Shenandoah Watershed in Virginia/West Virginia/Maryland region. I am an avid river user on the main stem Potomac and do a lot of fishing near the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers in Harpers Ferry, WV. I also frequently take my kids tubing on the Potomac a few miles downstream and fish the Shenandoah River, although less frequently due to the massive fish kills experienced in the past decade.
I've been concerned with the issue of using Poultry litter as well as improper storage of this waste on large Poultry operations in our local watersheds. As has been commonly documented, we are experiencing a litany of issues on both the Shenandoah as well as James Rivers in Virginia and Potomac River in Maryland below the confluence of the Shenandoah. Large scale fish kills in the spring following spring rain events that coincide with large scale fertilization of farming lands in the watershed have been documented in several years over the past decade. These fish kills have resulted in decimating the population of one of the regions most popular gamefish, the smallmouth bass as well as several other notable river species commonly sought by fisherman. This issue has resulted in tremendous trouble for the fishing industry, resulting in guiding operations being shut down completely, and I'm certain lost revenue in licensing due to fact that local fisherman may not even purchase a license any longer due to decline in the fishery.
Furthermore, the water quality and algae blooms experienced on both the Shenandoah and main stem Potomac along the Virginia shorelines directly influenced by the Shenandoah have resulted in decreased water quality issues and higher rates of algae over the past decade. River grasses, while somewhat beneficial, have all but choked out sections of both rivers due to increased fertilizer and waste runoff causing these unnatural growth explosions. While some water grass is natural and beneficial to these watersheds, the levels of growth being experienced as a direct result of this unnatural fertilization aid are making these watersheds unviable for use by recreational anglers and swimmers. Something must be done to control this rampant use of Poultry waste and poor land use management practices directly impacting thses issues.
Jeff Kelble and others have made tremendous strides and effort to bring attention to these concerns which will continue to effect not only waterway sportsman and swimmers but are headed towards a serious decline in the health of our drinking waters and wildlife in these pristine areas of the country. How in the backyard of our nations capitol we can allow this decline to occur is beyond me. However, recent efforts have resulted in the pending legislation being considered to take important steps to regulate the proper and reasonable use of this byproduct of an important industry. We're not asking it be completely shut down, just managed properly so that we can obtain some healthy balance for our industries and surrounding natural environment.
I strongly urge that you consider enacting these controls immediately so that we don't lose one of our nations great treasures. Please feel free to contact me directly should you have any further questions or concerns and I'll be happy to have a candid discussion on the subject.
Avid Mid Atlantic Waterman