Travel mag: Chesapeake a troubled destination
First the national press casts a harsh spotlight on Baltimore for its pollution - now it's the Bay.
National Geographic Traveler included the Chesapeake Bay for the first time in its sixth annual ranking of the world's "great places." Heady stuff, to get mentioned alongside iconic spots like the Galapagos, Yellowstone and Venice. Unfortunately, the bay and environs get tagged in the November-December cover story as a great place in big trouble.
"Local historic sites are well preserved, but shopping centers and subdivisions obliterate local character," says the travel mag, based on a survey of 437 "well-traveled experts" in sustainable tourism.
Here's what one of the experts had to say: "One of America's iconic landscapes, but the bay is dying, both as a natural ecosystem and as a cultural landscape. Almost all indicators of the Bay's health are negative. Is it any wonder, given the rampant sprawl, agricultural runoff, and booming population growth in the watershed?
"Maryland has done a relatively better job than Virginia," the unnamed expert added, "due to its aggressive land-preservation program and smart growth policies, but both are lacking."
For more, if you can stand it, go here.
(2008 Baltimore Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum)