Sprawl to Blame for Disappearing Grass

<p>A recent study by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources says sprawl is to blame for declining natural resources in Chesapeake Bay.</p>
July 6, 2008, 11am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Alan Girard, project manager for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Heart of the Chesapeake office, named sediment as the culprit for keeping grass levels low, especially in the Eastern Shore's bay tributaries."

"Girard said to see what's going on in the water, simply look on land.

'You have to look back up on the landscape and see what's happening there,' he said. 'Particularly on the Shore, we're seeing a lot of sprawling development take place that is adding new pavement and rooftops in rural areas that essentially change the natural filtering function of the landscape into a funnel.'

The Wicomico Environmental Trust has been making sprawl its main concern for years, most recently with its lawsuit against a subdivision in Powellville called Deer Creek Estates. But WET President Mike Pretl said Monday he wonders what else the organization can do.

'Sprawl leads to runoff, both of soil and silt, so there is certainly a tie-in,' he said."

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Published on Thursday, July 3, 2008 in Delmarva Now
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