Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Loose Feathers #25: Growth vs. Conservation Edition

News and links about birds, birding, and the environment.
  • As I have posted here before, a massive development is threatening the health of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Plans call for 3,200 houses, a conference center, and a golf resort on a large tract of land between Egypt Road and the Little Blackwater River. A large part of this tract was supposed to be protect land, but the developers received waivers from state agencies. The project is expected to double the population of Cambridge - a town centered on the Choptank River - and bring in tourist and tax dollars. The project raises all sorts questions about how many people the Eastern Shore can realistically support economically, and how much development can be done before the health of the Chesapeake watershed is beyond hope. Aside from that, the development will almost certainly harm one of the major reasons for people to visit lower Dorchester County - the natural resources in and around Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. To register disapproval of the project, you can sign a petition asking Governor Ehrlich to intervene.
  • In Washington, DC, the Armed Forces Retirement Home near North Capitol Street and Irving Street, NW, is planning a large development for previously undeveloped acreage that had been part of its endowment. While this project does not appear to have serious environmental consequences of the sort overhanging Blackwater, it is expected to increase congestion and reduce open space.