My meeting wasn’t until noon, but I got there a little early (you can only sit at a coffee shop for so long). On shore, I was greeted with wind blowing a kind offering of salt to my nostrils. An off-white boat took to open waters, nets at the ready. Pleasure House Point sits just inland of the Chesapeake Bay. Protected from the Bay, this delicate environment hosts a thoughtful building. The Brock Environmental Center was built in 2014 and is a gentle complement to its surroundings. Fulfilling LEED’s Platinum Certification, this office building is a prime example of a green building: it uses 80 percent less energy and 90 percent less water than a typical office building by taking advantage of the resources available to it.
Two wind turbines whipped through the wind while solar panels performed a modified photosynthesis. Inside, dedicated employees of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation worked diligently with the purpose of their toils as a backdrop. Through the halls, we stepped on reclaimed wood from an old gymnasium floor. When rain falls, it is collected, stored, and filtered to feed the plants and people. The lights are rarely on because the natural light is usually plenty and softer on the eyes.
I met with April and we talked about upcoming projects for CBF. She asked about the hike and we pondered some of the difficulties facing this unique Bay. I climbed aboard the new Louis and Pru Mobile Oyster Restoration barges and learned more about how they are helping to restore oyster reefs throughout the Bay. As we walked back to the building, April pointed out the future site of the Brock Classroom – where local youths will go to learn about their environment and why it is necessary.
I chose to hike for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation because of my history with the area. I grew up a little further north in Front Royal, Virginia and attended Virginia Wesleyan College, ten minutes down the road from CBF’s office. As an Environmental Studies major, I was educated on the surrounding waters and understand we have a responsibility to protect what is frail, rebuild what has been damaged, and teach those who will listen. While most of my last four years have been spent out West, I wanted to bring attention to the treasures of the East.
Because of its density, this watershed is the basin for millions of people. Runoff from farms, homes, and roads causes significant damage to the Chesapeake Bay. Sea life struggles to survive in the polluted waters and nets are constantly dwindling the remainder. Overfishing continues to be a problem and corporations offer little sympathy when called out for pulling over the catch limit. Somehow, Nature has become the piggy bank of big business. The more it suffers, the more They profit.
I hope you will consider making a donation for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as they strive to improve the quality of the waters and restore habitats for struggling populations. Below is a link to my BayRaiser page where you can make a contribution to help restore an important ecosystem.
Peace and Love,