In essence this book deals with an area that contributes significantly to the pollution and degradation of Chesapeake Bay, but has been completely overlooked in many of the efforts to restore the Bay, specifically, the federal military pollution sources. The book also recognizes for the first time, that efforts to restore the Bay have failed because of violation of a fundamental precept of environmental cleanup; that is, to sample the site and see what is there. The Bay itself has never been sampled. Thus this book presents a view of the environmental condition of Chesapeake Bay that is totally unique. It covers a part of the history of the Bay that is not widely known, including how the Bay was formed. It presents a mixture of science, military history, and novel solutions to the Bay's degradation. In so doing, the author examines the military use of the Bay and reveals the extent of munitions dumpsites containing nitrogen and phosphorus as well as chemical warfare material, and how this is effecting the environment. The book concludes with the author's own clean-up plan that, if implemented, would go a long way to restoring health to Bay. The book is supplemented with many photographs and maps.
Chesapeake Bay is a major seafood fishing center, but its harvest has become threatened because pollution is making it difficult for many aquatic species to survive. It is generally believed that these problems are caused primarily by nitrogen- and phosphorous-containing nutrients from agriculture and domestic wastes discharged by the states in the surrounding watershed. However, Albright, an environmentalist and chemical weapons expert and a former US Army officer, argues that this explanation ignores the major role that the US military played in over a century of pollution in this region. Most of the book is a catalog of military pollution, ranging from military explosives to chemical weapons, radioactive material, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Although the book offers strong evidence that military pollution is important, there are few suggestions about how the current situation can be rectified, probably because remediation would cost billions of dollars and require many decades to achieve. The suggested audience is the general public, including fishing enthusiasts and boaters, but readers who lack a basic science background may find some parts of this discussion difficult to understand. Libraries in the region around Chesapeake Bay might consider purchasing this book. Summing Up: Recommended. Academic and large public library collections in the Chesapeake Bay area. H. E. Pence emeritus, SUNY College at Oneonta
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Richard D. Albright , a chemical weapons and ordnance expert, has a bachelor's from the University of Michigan, a master of science in environmental health from George Washington University and doctorates from Wayne State and an online university. A former Army officer, he wrote a science bestseller, Cleanup of Chemical and Explosive Munitions , now in its second edition; has testified before Congress, state government, and in federal courts on environmental issues. His work has been featured in Washingtonian magazine , The Washington Post, The News-Herald (Northeast Ohio) , The Press of Atlantic City, The New York Times and The Kansas City Star . He has worked for 20 years to restore the Chesapeake Bay and sailed the Bay for 40 years. He won the Cafritz prize for his work cleaning up a chemical weapons site.