Homeowners who live along the Gilmerton Deep Creek Canal in Chesapeake, Va., are taxed for owning waterfront property. But as the canal fills with silt washed in from upstream developments, they say that living next to the water isn't what it used to be. The Virginian-Pilot reported on the story here (see: "'We can't control it, but it's destroying our property': Community wants Chesapeake to dredge Gilmerton Canal," by Katherine Hafner).

"Resident James “J.C.” Stewart sold his boat because he wasn’t able to launch it from his dock anymore," the paper reported. “I pay taxes for waterfront property, and all it is is a silted-up ditch,” Stewart told the Virginian-Pilot. “People used to use it more than they do now because at low tide it’s difficult to even get a canoe out there.”

"Debris from newer developments just north, such as the Oak Manor community, overflows from retention ponds to city easements, into the waterway and down to their home," the paper reported. "Many residents think it should be the responsibility of city officials to clean up the mess coming from drainage systems they direct. But city leaders say it’s not their responsibility to take care of private property."

“The fact that there’s sediment in the canal shouldn’t be a surprise,” Public Works Director Eric Martin told the Virginian-Pilot. “We would certainly say that erosion and sedimentation is a natural occurrence.” According to Martin, dredging the canal would cost $400,000.