Rep. Roy Dyson (D-Md.) announced formation of a task force yesterday charged with finding groups willing to take over operation of the Chesapeake Bay Model, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to start dismantling in mid May.
The 14-acre structure, on Kent Island in Queen Anne's County, is a working scale model used to test the effects of man-made and natural occurrences on the bay. The task force, to be co-chaired by Torrey Brown, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and Dr. Eugene Cronin, who directs the Chesapeake Bay Research Consortium, hopes to find groups that would operate the model as an educational, research and/or tourist attraction site.
Meanwhile, pedestrians who want to see the real thing can walk across the 4.3-mile Bay Bridge Sunday, starting at 9 a.m. The bridge walk is expected to take about 90 minutes.
Also yesterday, Dyson said state and Coast Guard officials have tentatively agreed on a schedule for opening the Kent Narrows Bridge during summer weekends when beach-bound car traffic going over the bridge competes with boating traffic waiting to go through the water passageway.
The schedule, expected to be put into effect by Memorial Day, would open the bridge to boat traffic every hour on the hour on Fridays, between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., with a final opening at 8 p.m.
On Saturdays, the bridge would open at 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and every hour on the hour between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
On Sundays, openings would be every hour between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., with a final opening at 8 p.m.
Finally, Dyson introduced legislation yesterday that would provide a maximum of $10 million in federal funds next year to help Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania combat the bay's pollution problems. But the funds would be conditioned upon each state making its own financial commitment to a tri-state clean up plan.
Federal funds would cover up to 55 percent of the clean-up costs, under the bill's provisions, and $3 million would be appropriated to make sure the federal Environmental Protection Agency keeps monitoring changing bay conditions.