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Can the Bay Weather More Storms?

A greater number of harder rain and snowstorms may be a predictable and costly result of climate change; they also foul the Chesapeake Bay. When it rains or when snow melts, muck pours into the Bay. Trash, poop, and bacteria of all stripes, engine oil, pesticides, and fertilizers—they all get carried away by rainwater or snow-melt as gravity carries it into the nearest storm drain or stream, which convey the noxious stew into Bay waters. There’ve been some good ideas to contain or slow the slime torrent over the years—John Kellett’s waterwheel-powered trash interceptor, installed to collect and compact waterborne trash just as it enters the Baltimore harbor, was an excellent one—and the Maryland Department of the Environment is looking to encourage more. From now until Aug. 31, MDE is accepting nominations for the 2012 Smart, Green, and Growing Award for Sustainable Infrastructure and Innovation in Stormwater Management, and winners will be feted at the agency’s Clean Water Innovations Tradeshow in October. Nomination forms are available online.

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