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Letter from Chip Northrup

‘HABsteria’ Imminent
Without Planning Now

To avoid another summer of HABsteria, I’d suggest the following:

  1. Coordinated Plan—Since Otsego is the largest New York lake in the Chesapeake Bay watershed (which starts in front of our house on the Susquehanna), funding for watershed mitigation can be obtained from the Chesapeake Bay watershed authority—to supplement, not replace—a state-approved plan. Although the DEC 9-E Plan is imperfect, it’s better than a repeat of last summer’s Dueling-Banjos of HABsteria. Since the 9-E Plan is a political document, I’d suggest that the politicians (county, township, village, state reps and senators) and non-government organizations get involved and get busy. Since it’s a professional document, I’d suggest that professionals coordinate the effort and lay out what’s entailed in a public meeting.
  2. Coordinated Effort—Funding requests should be prioritized by where they fit into the plan. Although there may be conflicting agendas academically and organizationally, those conflicts can be addressed and resolved in private, not in the press, and without histrionics adding to HABsteria.
  3. No sacred polluters—The 9-E Plan study can identify the sources of nutrient loading. Once identified, we need to be prepared to do something about them. Even if they are us—our “compliant” septic system, our essential livestock, our own NPK fertilizer—be prepared to be surprised by what we find out.

Chip Northrup


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