Today that way of life is threatened by the loss of "product" to harvest. Product is the seafood that was once so abundant in the Bay. There just aren't as many oysters or crabs or fish in Chesapeake Bay any more.
Why? Where did all the seafood go?
That's a hard question and there are many answers. You will learn some of those answers as you work through the Maryland Explorations Chesapeake Bay: Great Basin of the East and Chesapeake Excursions: More than a Boat Ride.
Click below to view a video clip of Earl White, "Admiral of the Bay." >
For now, let's listen to and watch waterman Earl White. Mr. White is an "old timer" - a man who has worked on the water for decades. He still tries to make a living harvesting oysters and crabs on a skipjack, the special kind of sailboat that watermen use. When he is not working the waters, he takes students on field trips sponsored by Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Governor Glendening named him "Admiral of the Bay" due to his hard work in telling students how to save the Chesapeake. As you watch the video, listen for who Mr. White thinks is responsible for the decline of seafood harvests in the Bay.
When you are done watching, enter information on your Waterman's Worksheet. Write in the third column, "What I have Learned," who Mr. White thinks is responsible for the decline of the Bay.