Friday, March 25, 2005

Geoducking the Issue

Annapolis, MD - 3/25/05 - In response to continued delays to his plan to have the Asian oyster (Crassostrea ariakensis) introduced into the Chesapeake Bay, Governor Robert Ehrlich (R) has decided to put forward his own "nuclear option" on the matter of multiplying the Chesapeake's molluscs. "Today, I am proud to announce that my administration has worked out an historic agreement with the Governor of Washington, Christine Gregoire, to import 3.5 million geoducks to help super charge the clean up of the Chesapeake Bay," gushed Ehrlich at his recent press conference.

The geoduck, pronounced gooey-duck, is a hardshell clam which burrows 2-3 feet deep into the mud, and can weigh up to 2.2 lbs by the time it is 5 years old. Ehrlich spokesperson, James LaKay, offered, "These bivalves are huge, easily 5 to 10 times as large as our undersized native oysters. Just imagine how quickly they'll be able to filter the Bay. If this goes according to plan, the Administration sees no reason why, 5 to 10 years down the line, we'll have to keep onerous land use and nutrient management requirements in place. These super clams should be able to handle almost anything we throw at them."

When asked about the proposed geoduck introduction, Ehrlich's mortal enemy, House Speaker Michael Busch (D-Annapolis) replied, "I hardly see any reason for this project. It's a total waste of taxpayers' money. I mean, have you seen how many mallards, canvasbacks, and buffleheads we've already got around here? You can't walk 10 feet in most of the grassy areas around Annapolis without stepping in Canada goose crap."

Senator John Astle (D-Annapolis) was bit more sanguine about the matter. "Hey, if this means there are going to be more winged critters for me to kill, well then, I'm all for it. Full speed ahead, baby." The sound of jubilant gunfire was reported to be emanating from the backyard of the Senator's Annapolis rowhouse shortly after the interview. City police had not responded to inquiries as of late yesterday.

Chris Judy, oyster expert with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), urged caution however. "It's not even clear to me that these clams will survive introduction into the Bay. The salinity and temperature of the waters in the Pacific Northwest, where they normally make their home, are completely different from those here in the Chesapeake. I think the Governor may want to think through this plan a bit more fully." In an unrelated development, the Ehrlich administration later in the day announced that it would be appointing former Ehrlich aide, Joseph Steffen, to head up the Human Resources Division at DNR.

This piece is fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

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