Neglect of waterways will have consequences

Roland Curry


In Nature Conservancy’s September issue, I read a forward-thinking article on agriculture and fisheries.

President Obama established marine sanctuaries to conserve coral reefs and guarantee a place where fish and other marine life could establish populations to help feed Americans and maintain thousands who fish for a living. These sanctuaries would be safe from giant factory ships and trawlers with nets that catch every creature from the surface to the bottom of the oceans.

We heard about canneries closing as unlimited catches of cod, sardines, ocean perch, giant blue tuna and swordfish devastated what many thought were limitless fisheries. Unlimited fishing off of Somalia led to piracy. Obama knew it made sense to conserve fisheries for people who want to make a living and ensure that we can always savor a seafood dinner. But Trump, the self-acclaimed stable genius, a malefactor of the environment, issued an executive order to destroy protection of all U.S. marine sanctuaries.

Trump’s order to delete funding from $300 million to $10 million to protect the Great Lakes is harsh and sociopathic. Sport fishing and outdoor activities generate over $7 billion a year. Of course, pollution will increase because Trump’s order allows coal plants to dump fly ash containing arsenic, lead and mercury into waters flowing into the lakes.

The 44 million people depending on the lakes may rue Trump’s order that cut protection and shifted the costs of invasive carp and mass pollution to states that border the lakes – possibly costing billions in future years.

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