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March 2008
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May 2008

It Will Take Efforts on Many Fronts to Save the Bay

205923by Ann Jennings, Virginia Executive Director, CBF
following is an excerpt from Jennings' recent OpEd article. Read the full article on

The Chesapeake's treasured blue crabs, having declined by 70 percent over the past two decades, are poised dangerously below a level of abundance beyond which the population is seriously threatened. These are scary times for the blue crab.

The governors of Maryland and Virginia recently called for a one-third reduction in harvests of female crabs. Science indicates that reducing crab harvests will result in a greater abundance of blue crabs, and that the population will respond very quickly to such actions. Unfortunately, the men and women who make their living by bringing those delicious blue crabs to our dinner tables will see their incomes drop. It's a gross oversimplification, but consider what you would do if you were told by your boss that your annual income would drop by 34 percent effective immediately. These are scary times for the crabber.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation applauds the governors for taking this bold action and committing to partner, as perhaps never before, on the regulations necessary to reduce crab harvests. However, we are concerned about the impact of these regulations on watermen communities, particularly those on Tangier and Smith Islands, where crabbing has been part of the culture for centuries and whose watermen have limited options for alternative incomes.

CBF therefore has offered both states alternative approaches to harvest reductions that attempt to spread the burden equally among various sectors of the crab industry. Furthermore, we share the frustrations expressed by the Virginia Waterman's Association in numerous newspaper articles. While Virginia takes bold action to reduce crab harvests, the underlying problem facing crabs remains unsolved with no complete solutions even in sight. Ultimately, we must restore the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay if we are to sustain a robust crab population and robust crab fishery.  Read the full article on

Expedition Student Receives Award

Brian_grayCongratulations Brian Gray! Brian was one of 12 students who participated in CBF's Expedition Susquehanna two years ago. Pennsylvania's Snyder County Conservation District just awarded him its Conservation Wildlife Award and was recently named the 2008 Pennsylvania FFA Star in Agri-Science. Way to go, Brian!

Coffee for the Bay

Starbucks The Starbucks Foundation, whose mission is "to create opportunities for youth to learn, serve & grow their natural potential to reinvent the world," has made a generous $50,000 grant to support CBF's Student Leadership efforts, providing a huge funding boost for the program.

In addition, from now through June 3rd, bring your own travel mug when you buy a drink at Starbucks and they'll donate 10-cents to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Shallop Race this Weekend

Dsc01422_2 Watch history in action as three boats, each a unique modern interpretation of the vessel Captain John Smith used to explore the Chesapeake Bay 400 years ago, race around Annapolis Harbor on Saturday, May 3 at high noon. Who got it right? The boat built by the Reedville Fishermen's Museum, Deltaville Maritime Museum, or Sultana Projects in Chestertown?

The race is part of the Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival and celebrates Bay sailing history and the creation of the new Capt. John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

Admission is free. For more information, visit the Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival website

Photo by Raynell Smith, Deltaville Maritime Museum Director, last August when the Shallops met in Deltaville.

Chesapeake Bay Guitar Project - April 2008 Update

click on images to enlarge

Now that March has come and gone and we’re into April, there’s quite a bit of progress to report. The first three guitars are now finished, and work is well underway on the other three.

Ladies’ Night: inlayed onto the Peruvian Walnut backed guitar, depicts female crabs foraging through eelgrass.

Ladies_100_2597Ladies_100_2598_3Ladies_100_2613_4 Ladies_100_2627    

Heron Sunset: inlayed onto the Brazilian Kingwood backed guitar, depicts a setting sun silhouetting a great blue heron, with a close-up on the neck of another heron among the cattails.

Heron_100_2659Heron_100_2660_5 Heron_100_2661_2 Heron_100_2666    

The Fisherman: inlayed onto the Quilted Sapele backed guitar, depicts an osprey coming in to capture a fish for its dinner.


Stars and Stripers: the fourth guitar underway, places the viewer within a school of striped bass and has a starfish sitting at the bottom. All this sits below the Francis Scott Key nun buoy on the headstock. This buoy is located in the Patapsco river mouth and commemorates the location of the British ship that held Francis Scott Key when he composed the Star Spangled Banner.


The Duke and Duchess:  the fifth guitar underway, shows a pair of woodland ducks in marsh grass.


I should have the artwork for the sixth guitar shortly.

The first three guitars headed to the Newport Miami Guitar Festival to be displayed with many other custom guitars from April 11 to 13. They will be coming back after the show and all six will be displayed at Appalachian Bluegrass in Catonsville as completed until the Chesapeake Bay Guitar Project Festival there on May 17. This local festival will not only have the guitars on display for sale, but there will be staff from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation present, supporting the event, as well as live music (we’re hoping for some original works that speak to the Bay) and refreshments. More information can be obtained from Emory at Appalachian Bluegrass (410-744-1144) or on his website (

Dave MacCubbin