Sussex deserves a future with clean water
When my husband and I moved to Delaware we looked forward to all that the coast had to offer, including boating on Delaware's beautiful waterways.
We chose to enjoy the Inland Bays because it's both convenient and calm for boating, crabbing and swimming with small children. But by mid-summer our son was diagnosed with an outer ear infection.
The pediatrician asked if he had been swimming in Delaware's bays. It was the first time we learned about bacterial contamination within our bays. Since then I've seen warnings against swimming in the Inland Bays with an open wound, and we've started to question our activities on the water.
Since that summer I've learned that 90 percent of Delaware's waterways are polluted, and that most of Delaware's waterways fail to meet the safe standards for their designated uses, be it swimming or supporting fish or other aquatic life. But even worse, I've learned that there are many communities in Sussex County that don't have access to clean drinking water.
There are multiple causes for these polluted waters - loss of wetlands, aging sewage treatment plants, and malfunctioning septic systems, to name a few. We are all part of the problem, but more importantly, we can be part of the solutions. And there are solutions for cleaning up our contaminated water resources. But we lack the funding.
I urge Sussex Countians to support funding efforts and for Sussex County legislators to support bills like House Bill 270 that would raise such funds. Many of the benefits would be seen right here at home. Every Sussex Countian has a right to clean water, and especially safe drinking water.
As a parent of three young children, I'd like to ensure that the children and grandchildren living in Delaware enjoy a future with clean water.