13 posts in this topic

As seen on another board:

After a several-year uphill battle, the Md.House passed a bill prohibiting hydraulic clamming operations in the coastal bays. The fight was led by the MSSA, specifically, the Atlantic Coast Chapter. The chapter Pres, VP, and general membership were passionate about the issue and spent many hours traveling to testify, lobby and call/write elected officials to highlight the importance of passing the measure.

There is a lot of shame to go around, as is usually the case, I guess, in such matters-including to every state senator on the Eastern Shore, all of whom refused to sponsor the bill. MSSA approached a southern Md. senator, who readily agreed to sponsor the bill in the Senate (which failed), while the Eastern Shore members of the House readily stepped up to the plate to sponsor their version of the bill (which passed).

It was also really peculiar that the Md. Coastal Bays outfit took a "no position" position in the process. Hmmmm.

This new law is extremely good news to all of us who spend time enjoying the coastal bays, the health of which has been declining for some years now. While the anti-dredging law will not automatically restore the bays to pristine condition, it is a heroic first step in the right direction.<!--/Text-->

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good news for our bay fishing. I went to one of their meetings last year and this was a "hot topic".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what to think of the MSSA, they do a lot of good but not all good.

The fact that the bays portion stayed out of it says it all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all about knowing what side your bread is buttered on.

It's a shame, but that's how things work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are in favor of the bill, I would advise you to call, or write the governor and tell him that you support his signing of the bill. This bill is HB964.

This statement is from Ocean Pines Anglers Club.

Our contacts in Annapolis have informed us that MD Governor O'Malley is hesitating signing Bill HB964 which was passed by both the House and the Senate -- apparently after getting an onslaught of mail from waterman and other opponents of this Bill.

We need YOU to help reverse this tide and we ask you to email/call his office (governor@gov.state.md.us and 410-974-3901/1-800-811-8336) to state your support for this Bill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted this elsewhereeon this site...figured I'd add it here since it hadn't garnered much attention.

Anyone who has an interest in fishing our bays really owes it to themselves and their offspring to take a moment to lobby the Governor to do the right thing for us.

Folks,

If you're not familiar with this bill, it prohibits hydraulic clam dredging (strip-mining, basically)in the Md. coastal bays. After several years of hard work, the Md.Saltwater Sportsfishermens Assn. & others finally got a bill through both Md. houses, but apparently, the Governor needs some encouragement to sign the thing.

Attached is an email I received today about this matter. If anyone feels comfortable doing so, it might help those of us here in Md. out if some emails showed up in the Governors mailbox. Even doing a cut & paste with one of the below paragraphs would be a great help, as well as original thoughts on the matter from any of you that enjoy fishing down here and don't mind throwing in your $.02 worth.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

Members,

Our contacts in Annapolis have informed us that MD Governor O'Malley is hesitating signing Bill HB964 which was passed by both the House and the Senate -- apparently after getting an onslaught of mail from watermen and other opponents of this Bill.

We need YOU to help reverse this tide and we ask you to email/call his office (governor@gov.state.md.us and 410-974-3901/1-800-811-8336) to state your support for this Bill.

Here are a couple of examples you can use as a reference for your message -- try to use unique language. Please don't delay -- do it today!

Thanks,

(name deleted by Steve)

Governor O’Malley:

Since both the Maryland House of Delegates and the Senate have approved the Hydraulic Clam Dredging Prohibition HB 964, I hope that you will promptly sign the bill into law. If you or your staff have any doubts about the harmful effects of the hydraulic clam dredging operations on the Maryland Coastal Bays, please look at the pictures and testimony that were presented by Delegates Mathias and Conway at the House hearing on the bill on February 28, 2007. This bill was supported by the Ocean City Council, the Worcester County Commissioners, Assateague Coastal Trust, Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen Association, Ocean Pines Anglers Club, Dr. Harry Womack of Salisbury University, Representatives of the Maryland Attorney General's Office, Maryland Coastal Conservation Association, Ocean Pines Marine Advisory Committee, League of Conservation Voters, and several charter boat captains from Ocean City. When the Salisbury Daily Times newspaper took a poll, over 60% of the respondents were in favor of banning hydraulic clam dredging.

I hope you will follow the lead of Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey who have already banned this practice. The opponents say there is no "science" to support the ban. Having seen the pictures and observed the process first hand, I doubt that the watermen can present any "science" that the practice of strip mining the shallow coastal bays is beneficial.

I know that your administration is more aware of the environmental problems in the State. Please sign the bill into law to further demonstrate your support to resolving long time abuses to Maryland's environment.

Thank you,

----------------

Dear Governor:

I AM WRITING TO IMPLORE YOU TO SIGN THE CLAM DREDGING LEGISLATION WHICH

BANS HYDRAULIC DREDGING FOR CLAMS IN OUR COASTAL BAYS. AS YOU KNOW, MARYLAND

IS THE ONLY STATE IN THE MID ATLANTIC AREA THAT PERMITS THIS ACTIVITY

WHICH IS HARMFUL TO OUR ESTUARY. MANY CIVIC AND CONSERVATION GROUPS

RECOGNIZE THE DAMAGE THAT IS DONE TO THE ENVIRONMENT AS A RESULT OF

HYDRAULIC DREDGING. THE NUMBER OF COMMERCIAL CLAMMERS INVOLVED THIS YEAR

(4) IS AT AN ALL TIME LOW. NOW IS THE TIME TO ELIMINATE THIS PRACTICE.

PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING AND SIGN THE BILL.

THANK YOU

---------------------

Governor O'Malley:

It has taken a lot of time and effort by numerous environmental organizations, recreational fisherman and local government groups and individuals in Worcester county to finally have a bill passed to ban hydraulic clam dredging in "our" coastal bays despite the persistent opposition of Senator Stoltzfus and his chosen accomplices. Please , Mr. O'Malley, sign HB964 banning hydraulic clam dredging in the coastal bays for everyone that visits Ocean City and all the people that reside in Worcester County.

Thank You Sincerely,

------------------------

Dear Governor O'Malley,

I fervently ask you to sign Bill HB964 that was passed overwhelmingly by both he House and the Senate and will eliminate one of the harmful practices that endanger the beautiful but fragile coastal bays of Maryland. This Bill has the support of ALL the Communities adjoining these waters and organizations devoted to improving its environmental health, including; the City Council, Worcester County Commissioners, Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermens Association (8000+ members in Maryland), Assateague Coastal Trust, Ocean Pines Anglers Club, and the Maryland Coastal Conservation Association.

I understand that you purport to support improving Maryland's environment. A perfect way to show that you are not hypocritical on this issue is to sign Bill HB964.

Sincerely

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure what to think of the MSSA, they do a lot of good but not all good.

The fact that the bays portion stayed out of it says it all.

Ben, just curious about your view on the MSSA...have they done something untoward, in your view?

I think the coastal bay org. stayed out of it because they didn't want to bite the hand that feeds (funds) them, unless they are funded by some other means. I can't think of any other reason why an outfit who is supposed to be solely dedicated to preserving the bays would turn their back on an issue such as this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

complete...although I really wanted to address it to Gov Ehrlich out of spite!

Come on guys, a simple cut and paste and send it on it's way. Takes maybe 2 minutes of your time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ben, just curious about your view on the MSSA...have they done something untoward, in your view?

I think the coastal bay org. stayed out of it because they didn't want to bite the hand that feeds (funds) them, unless they are funded by some other means. I can't think of any other reason why an outfit who is supposed to be solely dedicated to preserving the bays would turn their back on an issue such as this.

For an organization titled the Maryland State Sportfishermen's Association they are full of commercial influences and members. Hosting the largest catch and kill tournament in the bay each spring doesn't gain my confidence that they want to do what is best for the bay and the fishing.

Then to push me further away the bay chapter abstains from a hydrolic clamming ban push in their own waters.

I think it is great to have an organization like the MSSA around when we need to fight for quota #'s and keeping seasons open etc., but they are far too self serving for me to become a member.

Nothing against the members or the organization, just my personal preference. I'll admit that I gain from their presence and influence, which is why I said they do a lot of good, just not all good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand what you mean.

The bay chapters sure look at things a lot different than the Atlantic Coast chapter, as far as I can tell.

Funny thing about this dredging bill...no Eastern shore senator would get involved, so a So.Md. senator sponsored it for the MSSA. The Eastern shore guy told the MSSA officials that they were wasting their time, that there was no way they could "beat" him on this matter...then the House passed it and the Senate followed suit.

Thanks for sending along your thoughts to the governor, Ben.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

talk about frustrating! 4 guys...ugh.

Thanks for the efforts pohocker, I'll get some buddies to send email as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Bill will be signed into law tomorrow by the Governor. Several MSSA honchos have been invited to the signing.

Many thanks to all who took a moment to write, email, or call the Gov.'s office to state your position. Sometimes, we can make a difference.:eusa_clap:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now