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High Tide in Dorchester

come “Lake Blackwater” as thousands of acres of marshes have turned to open water. The refuge, sinking in the center, has been expanding outward, acquiring wetlands up other county river systems 20 miles or more from their headquarters. Along with Chesapeake Audubon and other par tners, Black water N WR has also recently pumped sediments from the river channel across some 40 acres of wetlands in a pilot project to raise the marsh by about half a foot. Results to date indicate this can restore habitat and buy a few decades of reprieve from sinking. Dave and I, along with filmmaker Sandy Cannon Brown, began this film to educate people to the threats of climate change; but it became an education for us in how science might better communicate such complex information to local citizens. We knew going in that phrases like “global warming,” “sea level rise” and “post glacial rebound (the sinking of lands around the Bay)” would never pass the lips of most of our interviewees. A woman whose family took my late wife and me fishing nets at 4 a.m. on our first date (she married me anyway) stubbornly refused to go on camera. Eventually, she said what was on her mind: it would be too easy for us to “put me between two PhDs and make me look like a fool.” Besides, “I just hate how the media puts fear in our hearts,

road and that’s enough to throw a car into the ditch if he’s going 40 miles an hour. If it’s a major storm, we can’t help much, but in minor tidal f looding (extra asphalt) can make a tremendous difference.” Travers says, “I hope and pray in my time I don’t have to tell people they have to abandon their hardearned property values, their communities, their heritage. . . because of rising water.” The 17,000-acre Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, established as a haven for migratory waterfowl, has begun “migrating” itself in recent years. The Blackwater River has be34

April 2018 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times April 2018

April 2018 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times April 2018