The following was first published in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
For many of us, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer and the pleasure of steamed, Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. This weekend, I have a simple request: Eat your crabs, and have their backs, too.
Chesapeake Bay blue crabs need our help. Recent results of the annual bay-wide population survey show that crabs are at their lowest level in the survey's 33-year history. More worrying is the trend in young crab numbers, which have been low for three consecutive years, and the record low number of mature male crabs.
While scientists are still trying to diagnose the exact causes, we do know there are important actions we can take to help crabs now. The most critical of these is reducing the amount of pollution that flows into the bay, and Pennsylvania is our biggest opportunity to do so.
To understand why, it's helpful to look at the life cycle of a blue crab. When you sit down to pick crabs, you're connected to an incredible journey that spans the entire length of the Chesapeake Bay—and the communities who depend on it.
Continue reading on the The Philadelphia Inquirer website.