“A Moral and Ethical Responsibility” | Conservation Law Foundation

“A Moral and Ethical Responsibility”

Peter Wellenberger

In a recent blog and in other outreach, I encouraged people to attend the EPA public hearing or contact EPA to support its draft discharge permit for the City of Dover’s sewage treatment plant. To ensure a cleaner and healthier Great Bay estuary, we must treat our wastewater to the highest standards possible.

In response to my call for action, it was inspiring to receive a copy of a letter written by a concerned citizen, Brian Giles, who lives in Lee and has been involved in environmental issues in the Seacoast for the past twenty years. In voicing strong support for the EPA’s proposed action, Brian’s letter discusses the significant losses of eelgrass in the Piscataqua River and Great Bay and the need for prompt, meaningful action to reduce nitrogen pollution.  His letter goes on to state:

“The Piscataqua River and Great Bay belong to the people of New Hampshire, Maine, and the residents of the Seacoast area. These waters have high commercial and recreation value for swimming, boating, fishing, bird watching, open space, and a sense of place. Equally important, thousands of birds, mammals, fish and other wildlife depend on these habitats to live, feed and reproduce. No one group of citizens has the right to put these waters at further risk because of perceived financial hardship.”

Brian’s letter concludes with the following statement: “All municipalities have an inherent moral and ethical responsibility to take care of their own waste products.”

I couldn’t have said it better. Protecting and restoring the Great Bay estuary – and averting the ecological collapse that could happen if current threats are left unchecked – is no small task.  But we have a moral imperative to do so – for all of us, and for future generations.  With more people like Brian championing the need to clean up the estuary, we’ll make it happen.

If you would like to know how you can become more involved, please email me. Great Bay needs you and I hope you too are inspired to make a difference.

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