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In 2008, I wrote a play about the decline of commercial fishing in Chesapeake Bay called Fishing Gone. It was set on Tangier, where there is little or no alternative to working on the water. In 2008, only a handful of watermen still struggled to earn a living against growing odds, a combination of natural cycles of marine life; disease in the oyster population; the wages of greed (overfishing); climate change; the rising cost of fuel and supplies; pollution from agriculture and increased density of population; and wellmeaning legislation that hasn’t always been reasonable or effective. Three years later, there

trance is lined on both sides with a colorful array of small crab shanties stacked with pots, nets, and other gear. Many of them have shedding tanks for crabs. All of them are built on pilings that have been set in the shallow water by hand, a remarkable feat given the hundreds of pilings one could count. A team of men stand the piling up in the mud at low tide. One of their number climbs into foot straps hung over the top of the piling and proceeds to jump up and down until the piling is set. Locals call it “shouting” the pilings, possibly from the whoops of encouragement from his gang as the jumper labors.

Roger W. Bass, A.I.A. Architect St. Michaels, MD · Middleburg, VA

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Tidewater Times August 2011  
Tidewater Times August 2011  

August 2011 Tidewater Times