Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Today marks the 40th anniversary of a federal act that links the Virginia blue crabs, sea grasses in the York River, and the protected Chesapeake Bay oyster shelters.
PHILADELPHIA, PA (Catholic Online) - Passed in 1972, the Coastal Zone Management Act was celebrated on Monday at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science where York River fish and crabs were enjoyed for lunch by over 30 people who had direct or indirect ties in helping either by cleaning up, restoring shorelines, or by preserving shorelines. The law created state coastal zone management programs and research reserves to study plant and animal life.
The event drew current and former leaders, of them included Tayloe Murphy, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates as well as the Secretary of Natural Resources. Born in 1933, Murphy described the decay of the once lively oyster industry. He gave most of the success of the restoration and preservation programs to bipartisan support of legislators in '80s and '90s. He hopes that within time the industry will be vibrant once more.
"When the decline came it was dramatic," he said. "We have not succeeded, but we have made a lot of progress."
The progress that has been made has come through countless projects. The director of Chesapeake Experience, Jill Bieri, has worked as both an environmental educator and scientific researcher. The non-profit company gives education for students, teachers, and many others.
A group traveled in five boats in the York River and anchored right off the Goodwin Islands where marine life is abundant and plentiful. According to Bieri, her clients feel like they are over an aquarium.
Tommy Kellum, Northern Neck seafood businessman, talked about the 16 years of work he's put in to help the dying oyster population. According to him it's the partnership that is combines public and private interests.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.