Here in Howard County we have a great school system, well funded and recognized as one of the best in the country. People settle here because of the quality of our schools. Long ago as a community we committed to pay for good schools. We spend more than half of every tax dollar to fund our schools and as a result our children benefit from a first rate education. We all pay for our education system whether we have kids or not, whether they are of school age or not. Why? — Because we value education as a key aspect of our quality of life.
As a county and state, we also show a strong allegiance to the Chesapeake Bay. In survey after survey we consider it a key aspect of our quality of life and support bay protection programs. The reality is that we have not been good environmental stewards over the last 200 years and we now need to pay to repair or improve the manner in which we treat stormwater, to minimize the effect on our local streams and the Bay. Unfortunately the funds available through existing sources have been allocated elsewhere and there is not enough left to address this forgotten utility.
Stormwater pollution is the largest growing source of contamination to our local streams and the Bay. The runoff from our rooftops, driveways, parking lots, and roadways is the source of the problem. Yes, we could nitpick about who has a larger role in the problem but the reality is that we all contribute and just like education, we all need to be willing to pay an equitable amount for the benefit of the community and environment we all share.
For the latest Howard County stormwater information, please visit cleanwaterhoward.com.Jim Caldwell