Photo of the Week: The Martha Lewis
Photo of the Week: CBFers Take to the Water

Why I'm a CBF Volunteer

100_4243Photo courtesy of Zhizhong Yin.

I am an immigrant from China. The American dream and world-class education and research brought me here at the dawn of the new century. I spent most of my time in the U.S. in the greater Baltimore area, starting as a Ph.D student at Johns Hopkins. Before I came, I learned a bit about the city, including its glorious history as the dominant port in the new continent as well as its current problems.

However, that is not what impressed me when I first put my feet on American soil. What really struck me was how blue the sky is and how green the grass is. Later I found out many of my friends from China have the same feeling. Due to neck-breaking development over the last three decades, pollution has become a huge problem in China. Blue sky, clear water, and green grass are no longer the normal. That is actually one of the reasons that propelled me to come to the U.S. I have since then enjoyed the good environment we have here. But I never forget the environmental problems China faces.

To get a Ph.D from Johns Hopkins is never easy. Life as a new immigrant is equally tough, if not tougher, for the first few years. Now that I am kind of settled down, I am starting to think about it again and seeking opportunities on learning about how to tackle the environmental problem. I am grateful that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) gives me the opportunity. Through my volunteer services with CBF, I learned what kind of actions we can take as an individual and as a community to preserve and protect the precious environment we have.

I also learned that in the 1960s and 1970s, many areas in the U.S. faced similar environmental problems as China is facing today. Thanks to organizations like CBF and government agencies, we can enjoy a much better environment comparing with 40 or 50 years ago. It gives me hope. On the other hand, there is still a lot to do to make the environment better and closer to its undisturbed condition, or even simply prevent it from skipping back to worse conditions. As an immigrant settled down in the Chesapeake Bay area, it gives me another reason to get involved with CBF.

—Zhizhong Yin


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