I grew up around the water. My Mom called me her “little fish” because I never wanted to stop swimming or playing in the sand. I eventually bought my first boat 15 years ago. I loved the Bay so much that I made a life-changing decision: Sell everything and live on a boat, year-round! Some thought I was nuts (well, maybe), but some thought it was a wonderful idea, confiding that they were jealous.
In mid-2003, I sold my house, big-screen TV, knick-knacks, furniture, drum set (my band opened up for Hootie & the Blowfish in the ‘90s) and gym equipment. I bought a 15-year-old 50-ft boat, with about 350 sq ft of living space, and started living a dream. I traveled from one end of the Bay to the other, including the small and not-so-small rivers and streams.
I lived aboard through hurricanes (Isabel ‘03) and snowstorms (’06), and enjoyed it so much that I pledged that I would stay aboard ‘til the day I died. ‘She’ was my home until 2008. Sadly, my arthritis was getting the best of me, but, on the bright side, I met a wonderful woman from Parsonsburg that I married in 2010. One door closes and another opens.
Why did I tell you this story? With happy memories living on the Bay, I also experienced the decline of the Bay. In 11 years, I saw the results of work by anti-Bay, Baltimore legislators, like Andy Harris. During his Senate tenure, I watched the Bay’s garbage and dumping increase; I saw the algae and muck accumulate along the Bay’s rivers and streams. I went from swimming in the Bay, to being afraid I’d step on a used syringe or other pharmaceutical trash.
I had some keys that fell overboard in 2008. I tried to ‘fish’ them out, but all I came up with was seaweed, held together by algae and sticky black muck, along with other trash. Needless to say, I never retrieved them.
Harris is a Baltimore-based politician; not a lover of our sick Bay, its suffering wildlife or its dying tributaries. How do I know that? During his years in the Senate, he had a pitiful environmental record. He hasn’t learned anything since then, still fighting those who care about, and love, the Bay. Now, his passion is for “fracking”, since visiting Pennsylvania. Does it matter that PA shut down their program because residents had flames spouting from water pipes and chemicals polluting their water and air? Crabs, anyone?