Chesapeake Address

Bill Dennison ·
21 November 2013
Science Communication | 

On the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln and the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of the Chesapeake Bay Program, I thought it would be appropriate to make a short speech to our Science and Technical Analysis and Reporting gathering today.

Chesapeake Address


William C. Dennison

Four score and eight years ago our scientists brought forth to this Bay a new approach, conceived in data, and dedicated to the proposition that all knowledge is created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great TMDL, testing whether that Bay, or any bay so productive and so challenged, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that TMDL. We have come to dedicate a portion of this Fish Shack, with the presentations by those who here gave their data that this Bay might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this room. The brave scientists, living and dead, who studied here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored scientists we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their full measure of data - that we here highly resolve that these scientists shall not have studied in vain - that this Bay, under God, shall have a new birth of health - and that science of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Bay.

Fish Shack
The Fish Shack in Annapolis, MD.


Four score and eight years ago, in 1925, the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory was established in Solomons, Maryland

TMDL = Total Maximum Daily Load, the federally mandated 'nutrient diet' for Chesapeake Bay

Fish Shack = The Senator Charles "Mac" Mathias conference room on the campus of the Chesapeake Bay Program, Annapolis, Maryland

Scientists have been coming to the 'Fish Shack' for decades to discuss their recent findings to the resource managers associated with the Chesapeake Bay Program

About the author

Bill Dennison

Dr. Bill Dennison is a Professor of Marine Science and Vice President for Science Application at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Dr. Dennison’s primary mission within UMCES is to coordinate the Integration and Application Network.

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