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Chesapeake’s “Island Girl” Plans “Love the Bay” Benefit Concert ( 0) Printer friendly page Print This
By Cathy Garger. Axis of Logic
Axis of Logic
Friday, Oct 9, 2009

Deanna Dove, the Chesapeake Bay's "Island Girl" is helping to raise public awareness and put pressure on the political and corporate advocates for the return of nuclear energy.



The Chesapeake Bay is North America’s largest estuary and has a wide variety of sea creatures including Maryland’s famous blue crab. Its 64,000-square-mile watershed provide habitat to more than 3,600 species of fish, animals, and plants. Many of these species are ecologically, economically, and culturally important to the region, and to the nation. Historically, the Chesapeake has been a rich source of oysters, crabs, fish, and other seafood. However, increasing amounts of sediment and pollution have caused serious problems in the Bay, including to the loss of habitat for these valuable species. (NOAA)


Radioactive emissions and the No. 1 Green House Water Vapor pour out of 104 big American Reactors like Calvert Cliffs daily.

 



~ A chat with the organizer of this weekend’s upcoming Love the Bay concert, a benefit for Chesapeake Bay protection. The fundraiser will take place Saturday, October 10 from noon to 5:00 p.m. on the boardwalk in North Beach, Maryland. ~

 

This coming Saturday on the Chesapeake Bay, a concert will take place near Annapolis, Maryland. Not your ordinary fall concert on the Bay, this musical extravaganza will include various local performing artists all gathered for an important cause.

Saturday’s fund-and-awareness-raiser will help win the fight to stop the construction of a third nuclear reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. Appropriately named, “Love the Bay,” the musical performance is a true labor of love. This summer, Marylanders from around the state formed a non-profit group, People Against A Radioactive Chesapeake (PAARC). One month later, the organization was adopted as a Chapter of the southern Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.

PAARC is committed to stopping construction of the new experimental double-sized nuclear reactor due to the damage it will cause to human health, the environment, wildlife, and the life and health of the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, the threat of another Three Mile Island or Chernobyl looms large, particularly with swift evacuation impossible for many Southern Marylanders. Furthermore, with cost estimates in excess of $10 Billion, there are far safer, healthier, less polluting, more economical ways of generating the electricity that will be used by residents of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Chesapeake’s “Island Girl” Speaks

Deanna's album, "Chesapeake"

Concert organizer and Maryland performing artist, Deanna Dove, is one of the founding members of PAARC. Deanna is immensely popular in the Bay region, with four CDs to her credit and a busy touring schedule. Audiences of all ages love the Chesapeake’s “Island Girl’s” unique blend of soul-bluesy-rock-folk sound. As anyone lucky enough to attend one of her performances will tell you, showing up at a Deanna Dove concert is likely to make a Bay lover out of anyone.

I asked Dove exactly what made her want to help PAARC in its mission to stop the proposed new nuke on the Bay? “In 2002, when I quit my job with the Federal Government after 21 years of service to pursue my music," began Dove, “a small announcement was in the Calvert Independent concerning the re-up of the extension to keep Calvert Cliffs polluting our county for another 20 years. But unfortunately, I needed to fiercely pursue my music career in order to make my living. I made a vow that if the opportunity ever presented itself again, then I would be prepared to fight.”

In June, hearing the word of PAARC’s potential formation, opportunity knocked and Deanna Dove answered. The musician continued,

“I feel so compelled to be a protestor for this cause because I hadn't wanted Calvert Cliffs in my back yard to begin with... but at the time of its opening, I was just 16 years old and had just graduated high school. I did, however, make a conscious choice and decided to commute the 120 mile roundtrip into DC to work... instead of choosing to work at Calvert Cliffs. I hated that place and have never even been on the driveway into the facility or any further!”

A lifelong resident of Calvert County, Deanna Dove grew up playing at the water's edge in Broomes Island on the Patuxent River. Being asked what life was like back when Chesapeake seafood was abundant, Dove shared a bit of her personal history with the Bay.

“Every day of my life I saw the water or was out on it or in it. That is what we did in my family. It was all about the water and great seafood that it provided our family - and our family’s friends, who would come from far away to enjoy our way of life.”

Continuing, Dove explained,

“My Dad was a builder, but every other moment of his life, he was a waterman. He was my hero and Hercules that could work those oyster tongs pulling those oysters out of the mud in very cold weather. He had a waterman’s eyes to see the crabs and the quickness and finesse to catch and dip net every one he saw. Every evening when he came home from his job in Baltimore, we would have dinner and then he would say to my Mom, ‘Honey, I'm going to check the tide. Get the kids together and be ready to go when I get back.’ It was just a short walk to Island Creek where the skiff was docked at my Great Aunt's Restaurant, which is now Stoney's, and where we would bring back bushels of crabs caught only with dip nets - mostly his crab net - but I would fast become a good crabber myself and then lent a good deal of crabs to the baskets.”

No Dirty Dozen!

 

The Chesapeake Bay's famous blue crabs- feisty crustaceans that are both a regional symbol and a multimillion-dollar catch - are hovering at historically low population levels, scientists say, as pollution, climate change and overfishing threaten the bay's "ultimate survivor."

A few decades later, Chesapeake’s watermen have a rough time coming up with enough crabs to satisfy lifelong crab pickers like Dove. Once plentiful, crabs are now scarce and these days the Chesapeake delicacy fetches a pretty penny - with $195 as the going rate for a bushel of large male crabs. Bay catches are so short, in fact, that the State recently doled out “emergency disaster funding” (some call it hush money) to the tune of $10 million dollars to hungry Bay watermen and their families.
Less than a year ago, Senator Ben Cardin admitted Chesapeake crab populations are down 70% since the 1990s. Remarkably, however, websites of state, federal, and Bay-saving organizations do not contain any information about the 11 nuclear reactors in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed - nor their role in polluting the already 40% dead-and-dying Chesapeake.

With declining and diseased populations of seafood and fish such as crabs, clams, oysters, and rockfish, the State has nonetheless given its blessing to the construction of a twelfth reactor – the reactor many fear that just may be the final blow – the final environmental onslaught that leads to the total demise of the Chesapeake Bay.  

Nuclear Reactors add to the heavy burden borne by the Chesapeake Bay as it fights for its very life. The Susquehanna River, which enters the Chesapeake Bay at its northern end, carries 40 percent of the nitrogen that flows into the Bay—the largest single source. There is so much nitrogen in the northern Bay that algae have all the “fertilizer” they need, and changes in streamflow do little or nothing to affect the growth of algal blooms. As a result, oxygen levels in the Chesapeake drop below life-sustaining levels. This satellite image shows brown water flowing from the Susquehanna. (NASA image by Robert Simmon, based on Landsat-7 data provided by the UMD Global Land Cover Facility. Caption: Earth Observatory).

Who Will Take A Stand?

As a clean energy advocate for years, Deanna Dove explained her take on the sorry state of affairs emanating from the dark shadows of nearby Washington, DC. “Just yesterday,” said Dove, “I heard this really long advertisement on WRNR about nuclear energy and how it would take land the size of Delaware to provide enough windmills to change things, etc. Now people will listen to that and believe it!”

What is strongly lacking is principled, moral leadership, as Dove explains. “I feel that we need a President like Roosevelt who wasn't afraid to stand up to Congress and others about making the National Park Systems, one by one. He had a lot of challenges, but he never gave up - and he won!”

With the so-called “Nuclear Renaissance” being pushed by the current Presidential administration, Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley, and the US Department of Energy, Dove queried, “Where have the great voices and leaders gone in this world? Have they all been bought out? They [leaders of yesteryear] faced the same oppositions back then, but they fought for things so much harder, stronger and longer. They didn't give up their beliefs!”

Most Americans, if given the choice, would probably choose windmills and solar panels over nuclear reactors that routinely spew deadly radiation in the environment and threaten us with the next Three Mile Island or Chernobyl. But it’s another thing entirely for a performer in the public eye to speak out - or in Deanna Dove’s case, sing out - about one’s stance on nuclear power.

Dove knows precisely what’s at stake in her choice to take a public stand. “I feel that I am making a decision to stand up... and I know that when you do, it's not easy. You never know how you will be viewed in these situations. I feel like history is repeating itself, but in some ways... not.” She went on to explain, “I feel like I'm beginning all over what Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Bruce, etc. were trying to accomplish.” Dove expressed the critical need for such performers to carry on what they started. “Yes, most people give up and think that it’s a done deal, or whatever, it doesn't matter, or believe in what the marketing advertisements say... that nuclear energy is clean!”

Two Calvert Cliffs reactors doing their dirty work under the cover of darkness.

Deanna Dove is also well aware of the lies told about nuclear power being a source of “clean” energy. What is not shared by the those pushing for an American nuclear revival is the fact that nuclear reactors regularly leak and emit thermal (hot) emissions into the air and water (think global warming), contaminating our air, water, and soil with toxic and radioactive chemicals, some of them lethal.
 
Marylanders’ fight against increased nuclear contamination and pollution in order to safeguard public and environmental health has just begun. Come join other concerned citizens at “Love the Bay,” a benefit concert to stop construction of the proposed new reactor at Calvert Cliffs, to be held on the boardwalk in North Beach, Maryland on Saturday, October 10 from noon to 5:00 p.m. While admission is free, donations are greatly appreciated. The line up features Chesapeake Bay performing artist sensations Deanna Dove, Live N’ Breathe, Rockfish, Stephen Heller, and others.

Saturday’s activities will include a children’s art contest and dance contests for all ages. To view a concert poster, visit www.bredl.org. Deanna Dove can be contacted at Island Girl Records at 301-908-4135. Or visit www.deannadove.com or www.islandgirlradio.com.
PAARC members would like to remind all Americans that, for every new nuclear reactor that is halted, it makes it that much harder to get the dozens of other new nuclear reactors on the drawing board get approved and funded in their own neck of the woods.

PAARC members would like to remind all Americans that, for every new nuclear reactor that is halted, it makes it that much harder to get the dozens of other new nuclear reactors on the drawing board get approved and funded in their own neck of the woods.

Read about the launch of PAARC in July - aimed at
stopping nuclear expansion on the Chesapeake

 


 

Cathy Garger is a freelance writer and organizer who works to stop the continued radiation poisoning of the planet. Living in the shadow of the national District of Crime, Cathy is constantly nauseated by the stench emanating from the nation’s capital during the Washington, DC, federal work week. Contact the author.

READ MORE ESSAYS BY CATHY GARGER ON AXIS OF LOGIC

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