Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ballast water issues face Maryland General Assembly!

Protection of natural resources, invasive species issues, and ballast water has a long history in the State of Maryland. It is interesting to note the regulatory complexity which was assign to the issue of the destruction of water ways in 1663. Direct economic consideration most likely was the prime factor in the enactment of this legislation.
The following extract was copied from the Maryland Archives site.

Assembly Proceedings, September 1664. 533

Acts made att a Session of Assembly begun September
the fifteenth 1663 and Continued by adjournment till
September 6th 1664 by the Honble Charles Calvert Esqr

An Act for the preservation of the Seuerall Harbours within
this Province

Whereas diuers persons as well the Inhabitants of this Pro-
uince as Forreignors hither tradeing in Ships of great burthen
as alsoe in other Smaler uessells haue hithertoo Customarely
used to cast out of their said shipps and other uessells their
ballast in such Creekes and Harbours where they Comonly
Ride to take in their ladeing which Custome if not timely pre-
uented and Redresse found therefore will in short tyme proue
to the decay of most of the Chiefest harbors in this Prouince
Bee itt therefore Enacted by the Right Honble the Lord Proprie-
tary with the Consent of the Upper and Lower house of this
present Generall Assembly That all persons whether Inhabitants
or fforreigners here tradeing in shipps of great or Lesser
burthen or any other uessell with a Deck that shall after the
Publicacon of this Act Cast out of their said shipps or other
vessells any kind of Ballast into the Harbours or Creekes where
they Comonly Ride and doe not Carry itt to the shoare and
lay itt aboue high Water marke shall for every such default
forfeite and pay two thousand pounds of Tobacco the one
moyety to the Lord Proprietary and the other moyty to him
that sueth to bee Recovered by accon of debt or Informacon
wherein noe wager of Lawe Essoyne or protection to be
allowed or admitted And Bee itt further Enacted that Every
Master of a ship or vessell bound to take notice of this Act
shall att the tyme of the Entry of his said shipp or vessell haue
a Coppy of this Act delivered him by the Secretary for write-
ing of which Coppy soe to be delivered as aforesaid The Sec-
retary shall haue fiue hundred pounds of Tobacco out of the
Publick Leauy paid this yeare and noe longer.

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