Letters to the Editor
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Do Beautiful Swimmers Still Swim?
Dear Bay Weekly:
In April we moved our sailboat from Texas to Chesapeake Bay. As part of our getting to know the area, I am reading Beautiful Swimmers, and this has led me to wonder how much things have changed in the 30 years since it was published. A search on Google led me to an article in your publication from 2000 titled “But Some Watermen Still Stay Winners,” which talks about the decline of the blue crab. My question: Is the blue crab still in decline or have steps been taken to reverse the situation?
Neal Foxworthy, Boulder, Colorado
Dear Mr. Foxworthy:
Bay Weekly Editor Sandra Martin passed your inquiry along to me. Congratulations on discovering perhaps the best book ever written about the Chesapeake Bay’s beautiful swimmers, and for discovering Bay Weekly, an excellent resource on all things in Chesapeake Country.
I wanted to ask Beautiful Swimmers’ author William Warner the same question you asked while writing my crab column last summer. Sadly, the beloved Washington, D.C., author was not well when I phoned him, and he no longer grants interviews.
Perhaps my weekly columns from 2005 archived at www.bayweekly.com will help. Click on 2005 and look for the Weekly Crab Forecast any week from late May through September 2005, for local crab history, crab culture, crab feasts and the watermen who harvest the Bay.
Of particular interest might be Vol. xiii, No. 23, June 9 (http://www.bayweekly.com/old-site/year05/issuexiii23/crabxiii23.html); and No. 32, August 11, 2005 (www.bayweekly.com/year05/issuexiii32/crabxiii32.html). Read in these columns a strong bias for Maryland crabs that has been for me a lifelong habit.
In a nutshell, the Bay suffers mightily from excess nutrients: nitrogen and phosphorus from human and agriculture waste. This nutrient pollution is particularly troublesome in summer when excessive algae growth is high. You also might want to read the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2005 State of the Bay report online at www.cbf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=sotb_2005_index.
I hope this is of some help and that you will enjoy sailing the Bay and sampling Maryland’s beautiful swimmers this summer.
M.L. Faunce for Bay Weekly
Relay for Life Reports Success
Dear Bay Weekly:
Thank you so much for getting our June 16 event into your paper in 8 Days a Week. Relay for Life was a huge success. Thanks for your support! We’ll be contacting you next year.
Sylvia Donovan, Relay for Life,
Southern Anne Arundel County