Globe-trotting TV naturalist explores the Chesapeake
Globe-trotting TV naturalist Jeff Corwin, who's trekked rainforests and deserts in search of exotic wildlife, is turning his attention to the Chesapeake Bay.
Corwin, the Emmy-winning Animal Planet star, kayaked Monday on New York's Lake Otsego, headwaters of the Susquehanna River, as part of a multimedia educational and entertainment initiative known as Expedition Chesapeake. It's the first of a series of paddles he's expected to make all the way from the river's beginning in Cooperstown NY to Havre de Grace, where it meets the bay.
"This is going to be an incredible journey and it starts right here, in Cooperstown and on this beautiful lake," Corwin said in a prepared statement. "The Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to a staggering 17 million people and we want to educate and inspire those citizens to better understand and appreciate this incredible treasure."
Launched by the Whitaker Center, a science and arts museum in Harrisburg, Pa., Expedition Chesapeake plans to spread the word about the nation's largest estuary by producing an IMAX film, a made-for-TV documentary series, a traveling science exhibit and a set of "online learning experiences" designed to engage students throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed that's spread across six states, including nearly all of Maryland.
The outreach effort couldn't come at a better time, as federally directed efforts to restore the bay's water quality are running into resistance, particularly in upstream states like Pennsylvania and New York, where officials and their constituents are questioning why they should shoulder any additional burden for the cleanup of an estuary far from them.
(Jeff Corwin wearing a black-headed python at the opening of the National Aquarium's Australia exhibit. 2005 Baltimore Sun file photo by John Makely)