We brought our Chesapeake Bay Fellows to the Delaware and Hudson Rivers to examine the aftermath of centuries of settlement, development, and industrialization. The central theme to our experience was, “Is this river swimmable and fishable.” Through water testing and biotic sampling we discovered that these rivers are, indeed, better than people think. In fact, during the time we were there, both rivers were (technically) swimmable and fishable.
The Fellows ’21 joined the Chesapeake Bay Fellows Program officially last week when they joined an all-Fellows retreat from Jan. 25-27, 2018. After a leadership / design challenge at school, we set out for First Landing State Park to assess water quality in the Lynnhaven River (it’s good!). We then took a tour of the Brock Environmental Center at Pleasure House Point, a community / educational center for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The building is one of the greenest on earth. It produces a surplus of electricity, consumes zero water, and creates no waste. And, by the way, it is comfortable and enjoys a breath-taking view of the Lynnhaven River. We also spent a day on the Eastern Shore of Virginia spending a few hours at Cherrystone Aqua Farms and the Barrier Island Center. The Fellows learned how oysters and clams are farmed, an undertaking that currently sustains 200 workers and produces millions of succulent bivalves for our palates. The Barrier Island Center houses thousands of artifacts from the once populated barrier islands of Virginia’s east coast. The residents were forced to evacuate the islands after they were swept by a series fierce hurricanes in the middle of the 20th century.
Last Thursday, our four senior fellows presented their work on their fall projects. Seniors Deni Budman, Elise Turrietta, and Alice Yang are working together to host a Benefit Regatta at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club that will raise money for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as well as awareness of critical Bay issues in our community. To learn more about their Regatta you can read through their Project Presentation.
Following their presentation, Mark Kelly began sharing his research on blue crabs. Mark’s research involved an analysis of fluctuating population numbers and the impact of regulations against fishing spawning females on the total population.
After an inspiring, inaugural Chesapeake Bay Seminar Day last spring and immersive summer experiences, the Chesapeake Bay Fellows returned to campus this fall with wonderful project ideas for this semester. Here are some “sneak previews” to the work of our group this year…
Mark (2016) will be researching blue crabs and studying the rise and fall of their populations. He will focus on issues specific to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.
Deni, Elise and Alice (2016) are organizing a charity Regatta to benefit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Their event aims to raise awareness through education of issues that impact the Bay as well as funds through donation and participation in the event.
Perry and Austin (2017) will be immersing themselves in oyster growth and economical and environmental impacts of their success. They plan on working with Chris Ludford of Lynnhaven River now an oyster expert. As a capstone to their project, they hope to have an oyster roast fundraiser!
Holly (2017) is organizing a powerful project that will improve education about the Bay in our school community. Holly will be creating small activity books to distribute to lower school students in the Norfolk Academy community.
Will (2017) is going to become an expert on source to sea trips and will organize and plan a trip for the fall of 2016. He will organize the itinerary, plan meals, gear needs and also plans to integrate a stop in Jamestown for some historical context of the bay!
Mackenzi and Katie (2018) will be converting the bulkheads on the Lafayette River into living shoreline communities. They will research healthy living shorelines and construction of living communities.
Hans (2018) will be studying the once populous shad of the Bay. He will learn about the fish life cycle, discover what impacted their populations and predict a restoration plan.
Finn (2018) aspires to learn about water quality of the Bay. He is interested in delving deeper into dead zones and understanding more about storm water runoff.
Will and Christian (2018) will be working together to learn more about the history of the people that have lived on the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. They plan on working with the Barrier Island Center.
Two cohorts of Fellows, ’15 and ’18, in our fourth Chesapeake Bay Adventure.
Written by Alana Davitt and illustrated by Ellie Randolph, this children’s book reveals the plight of Indigo, a mermaid who has just awakened from a long sleep to discover her beloved Chesapeake Bay home is not the way she remembered it.