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My friend Greg, who lived on the Bay near the mouth of Bush River, led the way down to his pier. We were in a cold snap and it was indeed very, very cold. The temperatures had been hovering around zero for the past week. The ground crunched as we walked, and within minutes my nose and fingers grew numb. I glanced at the bay and as far as I could see there was ice, quite rough along the shore, but it did look like we could skate farther out. Momentarily forgetting that it was saltwater, I convinced myself (more…)
Lifting off for my vacation I flew over the Chesapeake Bay. We’d had another rainstorm. The brown sediment washing into the Bay, covering marshes and oyster beds, was obvious from the air. The satellite views that NASA has been showing us, I now saw for myself. Since the 1970’s, suburbanization with its impervious roofs, driveways, and lawns has significantly contributed to the dying of our beloved Bay. As my plane landed in Miami for my transfer flight I saw the same thing, miles of high-rise hotels and brown sediment stretching into the ocean. People were swimming, oblivious to the habitat degradation caused by the impervious surfaces of the hotels and roads because they had never seen it when it was pristine, clear, and full of life.
My second flight, south from Miami, flew over (more…)
The Bay, as we call it here in the Mid-Atlantic States, is a major destination for boating, fishing, and a wide array of water sports. It was once one of the most prolific estuaries in the world and produced large numbers of oysters, clams, shad, striped bass, and blue crabs. In fact, back around 1900 more oyster meat was consumed per capita in Baltimore than beef. But over the years the human population has grown dramatically, and we have over-fished and over-dumped our wastes into this extensive but now endangered wonder.
I grew up on these waters and want to do what I can to restore them. I have learned that the biggest challenge today is the runoff of silt, nitrogen, and phosphorus from our backyards, our farms, and our development sites. (more…)