"Plan To Protect ‘Ghost Fleet’ On Potomac River Hits Rough Water"

"Watermen fear creating Mallows Bay national marine sanctuary could hurt their livelihood, despite assurances".

"The 'ghost fleet' sunk in the mud of Mallows Bay never saw action in World War I. But nearly a century later, the decaying wrecks of more than 100 wooden steamships built for that war and left to rot in the Potomac River have triggered a new conflict.

A proposal by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create a new national marine sanctuary around the skeletal remains of those vessels has riled commercial fishermen in Maryland and Virginia. Despite assurances to the contrary, they see the move as a potential threat to their livelihood. They have flocked to public meetings to oppose it, saying they fear it could restrict or block their access to waters where they’ve harvested a bounty of fish, crabs and oysters for years.

'The word ‘sanctuary’... makes us shake,' John Dean, president of the St. Mary’s County Watermen’s Association, said at a public meeting earlier this month. 'Please leave this alone.'"

Timothy B. Wheeler reports for the Bay Journal March 19, 2017.

Source: Bay Journal, 03/22/2017