Can anyone guess why the fish are dying?
On a bright sunny day, the Patapsco river (a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay
) glistens and begs you for a swim. But don’t be tempted, as the polluted waters in and around the Baltimore Harbor are filled with poisons and other dangers. Oh my!
Every 6 months, we hire divers to dip below Cat Maudy’s surface – and inspect the hull for excessive algae growth or barnacles
. Aside from the fact that there is very little growth on the hulls, marine antifouling bottom paint
for boats in the Baltimore Harbor can last 5-6 years (it should only last 2 years) before this special paint needs to be re-applied. “Don’t even think of getting into this water” one diver recently told Captain Pat “we have to get shots for hepatitis and a host of other ills. Do you see that jellyfish with the red markings”, the diver continued pointing at an unusual jellyfish just beneath the surface…”these are not native to the eastern seaboard. That deadly jellyfish is native to the Pacific Ocean – and was probably released from the ballast of a commercial ship in the Baltimore Harbor.”
Despite what your local politician or news media may tell you, a “fishkill
” is not a natural phenom. There is a reason why the fish die “all at once”. Lack of oxygen in the water. So here you have it, one fine day in the Baltimore Harbor, when the smell becomes wretched, and suddenly fish appear on the surface (including eels
– which are supposed be the most resilient!). Algae fed by excessive nitrogen (from fertilizer to get that dark green lawn, and fertilizer run-off from farms) – ends up in the water, and sucks out all of the oxygen…leaving the fish to die by the thousands.
And surely, all of those Utz potato chip bags, plastic soda bottles, and garbage galore didn’t just accidentally end up in the water. Garbage and waste, thrown into the streets, or overflowing from garbage containers, gets washed away into storm sewers on each and every rainstorm. These storm sewers dump directly into the waterways. help!
Walking along the Anchorage Marina waterfront (home of Cat Maudy)….I spotted a news photographer standing near the waters edge. Being the curious sort, “Hey – are you guys reporting on the Baltimore Harbor water pollution?” Please?? Doesn’t anybody notice this??
But NO. Something FAR more juicy. They were data mining on Clark Rockefeller’s “Yacht” (more like an oversized hobie cat) that was docked at our marina. Clarkie-boy had kidnapped his daughter, and the FBI chased him down to Baltimore MD. There I was….amidst the blathering breaking news.