WCD would protect nature
Charles County is at a major crossroads right now concerning the watershed conservation district. The decisions made now will have lasting implications, and there are no easy answers.
If the WCD stands, property owners in designated areas of Charles County will be vastly restricted in how they can use their private property. A valid argument is that the WCD zoning mandate is unjust, discriminatory, dictatorial and maybe even unconstitutional.
Be that as it may, if no plan is in place to protect what’s left of the rural and pristine parts of the county, every one of us will lose an extraordinary treasure.
If the WCD is invalidated, I envision adult children and grandchildren selling the property of their forebears to the highest bidders. I see housing, roads, traffic lights, gas stations, shopping centers and schools where forests and farms once were. I see wildlife habitats bulldozed and dying breeds of creatures great and small. I see traffic congestion, lower water tables, polluted creeks, streams and waterways flowing into the Chesapeake Bay, an estuary that once teamed with life. With an influx of population, I see more crime, as well as higher taxes on all Charles countians to sustain the massive growth.
It may take two or three decades, give or take, but without environmental protections in place, it’s inevitable that Charles County will lose its distinct rural character, southern charm and the natural beauty and bill of health that clean air and water provide.
When private property rights and moneyed interests compete against environmental protection, sadly, the latter rarely wins. Mother Nature remains consistently patient and life-sustaining up to a point. But like the most innocent and vulnerable, she does not have a voice and cannot advocate on her own behalf. Someone must speak for her.
Bernadette Smith, Welcome