A WYPR 88.1 FM Radio On the Record program with Sheilah Kast (2017-08-23) hosted Maryland Secretary of the Environment (MDE) Benjamin Grumbles and Bay Journal reporter Tim Wheeler to discuss the water quality issues proposed by the Conowingo Dam and the State’s plan to conduct test dredging of the dam’s basin. From the program’s description:
Millions of tons of sediment are trapped behind the Conowingo Dam. It can’t hold more, so Governor Hogan has called for a test of dredging some of the sediment. Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles explains how the state plans to work with Chesapeake watershed partners –and Exelon which operates the dam–to pay for the project, while finding new uses for the sediment.
Also trapped by the dam are nutrients from runoff, like phosphorous and nitrogen. The Bay Journal’s Tim Wheeler says sediment causes harm by clouding the water and smothering oysters, but the nutrient burden travels farther down the Bay, causing algae blooms and dead zones.
Click here to listen to a podcast of the program. The Ben Grumbles segment begins at 1:24. The Tim Wheeler segment begins at 15:10.