May 29, 2014; Annapolis and Edgewater, Md.
Contact: Washington Foreign Press Center Media Relations Officer Michael Chadwick
Telephone: 202-504-6370; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twelve journalists from Europe, Asia and the Middle East joined a Foreign Press center tour to learn about the ongoing efforts to understand, clean up, conserve and encourage sustainable use of the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States, and a vital natural, economic and social resource for the entire Mid-Atlantic region.
The tour began with briefings by staff of the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) (LINK: http://www.chesapeakebay.net/) in Annapolis, MD, about the environmental challenges the Chesapeake faces, and about how public and private organizations are partnering to restore and protect the bay. The CBP is a unique regional partnership that has directed the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay since 1983; members include the governments of the six states and District of Columbia which share the Bay’s watershed; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), representing the federal government; and participating environmental, cultural and business advisory groups.
The group then visited the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (LINK: http://www.serc.si.edu/) in Edgewater, MD and toured a range of research labs and facilities investigating the Chesapeake Bay environments. These lab facilities are doing multi-year and in some cases multi-decade projects, investigating the health of Chesapeake fisheries, measuring ocean acidification and changing changes in CO2 and nitrogen levels, and projecting the future of wetlands under different climate change scenarios.