Saving the Bay, But for Whom?

WatermanTo whom do we have a responsibility? For whom are we saving the Bay?

These questions came to mind on reading two articles yesterday--one about the Bay and one about the greater world. In her article Once Plentiful, Crisfield Oysters in Short Supply, Liz Holland shares the story of a culture's decline--the waterman's culture upon which the town of Crisfield was built a century ago. Her story prompted several comments about whether commercial watermen should continue to struggle to make a living on the Bay or whether we should just record their culture and let it disappear.

On the New York Times blog Dot Earth, Andrew Revkin asks What Does the Present Owe to the Future? "I've noticed some signs of the tensions that lie at the heart of the sustainability puzzle--including the push and pull over what one generation owes the next, or what one individual owes to someone else's child," he writes. His article also prompted a hot round of comments.

At CBF, our efforts to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers, and streams stem from the belief that they are national treasures of immense natural, economic, cultural, and historic importance and need to be preserved for future generations. We believe we do have a responsibility to provide a better world for future generations. We also believe we have a responsibility to preserve the Bay's natural resources--not just to save the environment, but for the health of both the people and the economies that depend on those resources. That doesn't only mean working to ensure there continue to be oysters, crabs, and rockfish coming out of the Bay, but working to help the cultures dependent upon those natural resources continue to thrive as well.

Who are you saving the Bay for? 

Kim Ethridge

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