Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Voluntary Strategies, Regulation, and the Patuxent

Dennis King, a professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, has published an interesting paper in the Bay Journal focusing "on why government decisions have so little influence on the millions of land and water-use decisions that do have a direct effect on the health of the [Patuxent] river." His conclusion is that, in essence, unless lawmakers find the spines to implement "hard strategies" which create expectations among individuals in the watershed that: "a) their individual decisions to comply with environmental laws will contribute to a collective effort to restore the health of the river that may succeed, and b) their individual decisions to ignore environmental laws will be detected, and that they will be prosecuted and penalized," the health of river and the Bay will continue to decline.

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