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Friday, November 20, 2009
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Saving the Chesapeake Bay discussion group

For people interested in sustaining vital ecosystems, few cases are as important or interesting as the Chesapeake Bay. It is, or was once, a uniquely rich environment, in which the mix of fresh and salt water, land and sea, once sustained a lush marine life (particularly attractive to humans who like crustaceans). It is also adjacent to population centers, subject to human impacts not only directly but indirectly, through the rivers that feed it and runoff from the adjoining land.

But the Bay's ecological complexity is matched by its political ecology. As is true of most large watersheds, government boundaries do not fit the geology. The national government, state governments and local governments; private and public actors; all must cooperate to "Save the Bay." Voluntary environmental organizations play a large role in mobilizing and coordinating action ? but sustaining that action is hard.

Therefore the efforts to remedy Chesapeake Bay's degradation are one of the most broadly studied efforts in the field of environmental politics and policy. One leading figure in that work is Dr. Howard Ernst, Associate Professor of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy. He will talk about his work ata Friday lunch discussion at CWRU? and we can use that to think about not just the Chesapeake, but the politics of Sustainability more broadly.

For people interested in sustaining vital ecosystems, few cases are as important or interesting as the Chesapeake Bay. It is, or was once, a uniquely rich environment, in which the mix of fresh and salt water, land and sea, once sustained a lush marine life (particularly attractive to humans who like crustaceans). It is also adjacent to population centers, subject to human impacts not only directly but indirectly, through the rivers that feed it and runoff from the adjoining land. But the Bay's ecological complexity is matched by its political ecology. As is true of most large watersheds, government boundaries do not fit the geology. The national government, state governments and local governments; private and public actors; all must cooperate to "Save the Bay." Voluntary environmental organizations play a large role in mobilizing and coordinating action ? but sustaining that action is hard. Therefore the efforts to remedy Chesapeake Bay's degradation are one of the most broadly studied efforts in the field of environmental politics and policy. One leading figure in that work is Dr. Howard Ernst, Associate Professor of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy. He will talk about his work ata Friday lunch discussion at CWRU? and we can use that to think about not just the Chesapeake, but the politics of Sustainability more broadly.

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