While we have made great improvements in issues such as water quality, wildlife and public access in the NMS waters, there continue to be issues that are detrimental to optimal man/nature interaction and general enjoyment of the waters included in the NMS.
Some issues are non-contentious and have almost universal support, but simply are not making meaningful headway, while other issues, on the face of it, may be contentious. Often, even the issues that may appear to be contentious still have a common goal, but there is disagreement about the methods.
Contentious debate is unpleasant and therefore the debate is often avoided, but this does not make the issue go away. Only debate and analysis in a proper forum provides the chance that optimal solutions will be developed.
At present no such forum exists. A structure like an NMS makes it more difficult for the issue of concern to be ignored, and by keeping it on the table over a long period of time, adjustments can be made. Very often the issue does not need to be regulated, but instead improved education resolves the issue.
This is a list of issues that have been raised by various stake holders. These issues have not been vetted as right or wrong, they are simply concerns that have been raised and that, if resolved, will result in improvements that benefit everybody.
Lack of general boater courtesy
Lack of awareness with regard to river and bay wildlife and river quality issues
Lack of awareness with regard to NMS recreational and commercial opportunities
Reductions in recreational boating interest
Storm runoff water quality issues
Lack of native oysters
Lack of spartina grasses
Lack of edible species awareness
Clamming restrictions (check out the neat graphic)
Dissolved oxygen deficiencies
Ineffective river scaping
Poor land side trash management
Bridge replacements issues
Land side impervious surface issues
Lack of dredging
Limits in NMS access
Inadequate ecosystem man/nature sustainable education
Lack of protection of culturally significant NMS activities such as boat racing, hunting, fishing and port facilities
Overall poor and non-optimized fisheries yield
Local fish to table inadequacies
Poor feeder creek conditions
Poor insecticide practices
PCB's and other industrial residue
River and bay bottom degradation
Lack of existing regulation (law) enforcement
This is a long list and is sure to grow, but if a mechanism can be developed where, as a local community, we make slow headway on most of them, the future will be much brighter. The vast majority of these issues do not need a huge investment to achieve improvements, but they do require general awareness by all stake holders and constant attention.
An NMS will provide a forum. None of this can be solved through special interest pressure, it can only be solved if the bay and rivers are presented as a valid common stake holder.
DISCOVER ENGAGE SUSTAIN