As I write this during Earth Week, I am filled with gratitude and determination at having joined the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and to be working alongside a dedicated staff of professionals in Pennsylvania.
I’m a native Pennsylvanian myself (from the Altoona area) and currently live just a stone’s throw from the Susquehanna River. I know how precious our rivers and streams are to our everyday lives.
As CBF Executive Director in the Commonwealth, I promise to do everything I can to help clean and protect our waters, while organizing and mobilizing others throughout Penn’s Woods to do their part.
Afterall, as Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment states, we have a constitutional right to “clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment.” We must do our part as engaged citizens to remind our state leaders of their responsibility to conserve and maintain, “Pennsylvania’s public natural resources (that) are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come.”
Pennsylvania faces huge challenges in getting back on track toward meeting its goals under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. I believe that, by working together, we can be successful. That means we need your continued commitment as we all have a stake in creating a legacy of clean water for future generations.
I see trying these times of social-distancing as an opportunity to get closer to what makes Pennsylvania special. We can walk a new path on an afternoon hike, stand in a babbling brook to fish for trout, or simply take a deep breath to re-energize our mind and body as we contemplate the connection between the environment and human health.
I sincerely hope you are able to take time to truly appreciate the good that makes up our life-sustaining environment here in Pennsylvania.
Afterall, it is what we must continue to work hard to protect.
I wish you good health and look forward to getting to know you better.
Shannon Gority, Executive Director of CBF's Pennsylvania Office